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Princeton Theological Seminary Library 

Hymns that are Immortal 

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With some account of their 

Authorship, Origin, 

History and 



BY / 


if* if* if* 1^ 

'^Teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and 
hymns and spiritual songs^ singing with grace in your 
hearts to the Lord^ — Colossians 3:16, 



S. K. J. CHESBRO, Agent 

14 North May Steket 


Copyright 1906 

Wilson T. Hogue 





The preparation of Hymns that are Im- 
mortal was undertaken as a result of studies 
pursued by the author in the fulfilment of 
duties imposed upon him by his appointment 
to serve on a committee on hvmn-book re- 
vision, and also from a conviction that there 
is a field for its circulation within which it 
will accomplish much good. 

The compilation of the hymns it contains, 
and of the historical, biographical, explana- 
tory and illustrative information regarding 
them, should be of interest to all Christians, 
and of particular interest and helpfulness to 
pastors, evangelists, lay preachers, Sunday- 
school superintendents and teachers, and gos- 
pel workers in general. One special aim in 
the production of the work has been that of 
making it practically helpful to these classes. 

The book has not been written, however, 
for the foregoing classes exclusively or chief- 
ly. In its entire preparation the author has 
had an equal regard to making it a volume 
of interesting and valuable reading matter 



for the Home Circle, and especially for Sab- 
bath perusal. 

While some thirty or fortv volumes have 
been consulted in the preparation of the 
Avork, and due credit has generally been given 
for borrowed matter where it appears in 
the following pages, the author desires to 
make special acknowledgement of aid re- 
ceived from the following works: "A Dic- 
tionary of Hymnology," by the Rev. John 
eTulian, M. A., a monumental work of more 
than sixteen hundred closely printed double- 
column pages, with sketches of about five 
thousand authors and translators of hymns, 
whose productions number about thirty thou- 
sand; "The Methodist Hymn Book [British], 
Illustrated with Biography, History, Inci- 
dent and Anecdote," by George John Steven- 
son, M. A., the world's leading authority on 
Methodist hymnology ; "English Hymns, 
Their Authors and Historv," bv the Rev. 
Samuel Duftield, j>erhaps the best American 
work on the subject; "Annotations I^pon 
Popular Hymns," by Charles Seymour Robin- 
son, D. I)., an illustrated volume of five hun- 
dred eighty-one double-column pages, closely 
printed, based on the "New Laudes Domini ;" 
"Historical Sketches of Hymns," by Joseph 
Belcher, I). D. : "Hymn Studies," bv the Rev. 



Charles S. Nutter, D. D; ''Hymns Historical- 
h' Famous,-' by Colonel Nicholas Smith ; ''The 
Story of the Hymns," by Hezekiah Butter- 
wortli ; "Studies in Familiar Hvmns,'' bv the 
Rev. Louis F. Benson. D.I).; and "Hymns 
That Have Helped," by Mr. W. T. Stead. 

The writing of the book was mostly done 
during a season of confinement from public 
duties 0(!casioned by a broken arm. Under 
these conditions the writer had an excellent 
opportunity to test the value of the hymns 
appearing in this volume, and to ascertain 
their helpfulness in seasons of disappoint- 
ment and affliction. If their publication 
shall in any degree bring to others such de- 
light and comfort as preparing them for pub- 
lication in their ])resent form afforded him, 
God shall have the praise. w. t. h. 




Preface vii 

Introductory xiii 


I. The Te Deum Laudamus - - 3 

II. Heber's Trinity-Sunday Hymn - 14 

III. Coronation: The English Te Deum 19 

IV. Medley's Hymn to Christ Our King 28 

V. Bishop Ken's Sublime Doxology - 33 

Prayer : 

VI. Montgomery's Lyric on Prayer - - 43 

VII. The Mercy Seat - . - 47 

VIII. Wrestling Jacob 51 

IX. John Keble's Evening Hymn - - 63 
X. A Woman's Hymn on Twilight Devo- 
tion - 72 


XI. Watts's Hymn on the Crucifixion - 81 
XII. Wesley's Hymn on the Living Sacrifice 90 

XIII. Ray Palmer's Hymn of Full Surrender 94 

XIV. Miss Havergal's Consecration Hymn 102 


XV. Most Helpful Hymn for Seekers - in 

XVI. Greatest Hymn of the Cross - - 120 

XVII. Noblest Heart-Hymn Ever Written 128 

XVIII. Nearer, My God, to Thee - - 136 

XIX. Great Hymn on Purity of Heart - 146 

XX. A Matchless Hymn on Perfect Love 150 




XXI. The Cross-Bearer's Hymn 

Schmolck's Hymn of Resignation 
Thy Will Be Done 













Lead, Kindly Light 

Noble Hymn by a Welsh Composer 

The Shepherd Psalm in Meter 

The Firm Foundation 




- 211 

Cowper's Hymn on Divine Providence 219 

Gerhardt's Noble Hymn of Trust 

Luther's Battle-Hymn 
Processional Hymn 

Prince of Missionary Hymns 
Messiah's Universal Reign 
Hail to the Lord's Anointed 

Our Country: 

XXXV. National Hymn 
XXXVI. Battle-Hymn of the Republic 


XXXVIL Abide With Me 

XXXVIII. Asleep in Jesus 

XXXIX. Crossing the Bar 

Future Life: 

XL. Prospect of Immortality 
XLL The Land of Pure Delight 
XLII. Forever With the Lord 












**I wonder if over a song was sung 
But the singer's heart sang sweeter I 
I wonder if ever a rhyme was rung 
But the thought surpassed the meter!" 

The hvmnodv of the Christian Church is 
deserving of much more attention than it 
generally receives from the Christian public. 
Its influence in the past has been incalculable, 
and it is to-day one of the most powerful in- 
strumentalities in use for tile diffusion of 
Christian truth and for the culture of the 
spiritual life. 

God's people have always been a singing 
people, and the singing of the saints has ever 
been a mighty inspiration to the Church in 
the fierce conflicts she has encountered in at- 
tempting to propagate the gospel and evan- 
gelize the world. Hebrew psalmody was thor- 
oughly interwoven with the whole develop- 
ment of the Hebrew nation, and Hebrew 
poetry and song are the forms in which 
many of the most valuable portions of the in- 
spired Scriptures have come down to us. 



The early Christians in particnhar were 
singing saints. The ]Master Himself led them 
in the use of devotional song. Both Matthew 
and Mark have told us of how, after He had 
instituted the Lord's Supper, Jesus and His 
chosen few "sang an hymn" — probably the 
Jewish Hallel of Psalms 113 and 118 — as a 
fitting conclusion to the solemn service, and 
then ''went out into the Mount of Olives." 

Saint Paul also is an authoritv in reference 
to singing as having formed an important part 
of early Christian worship. He both recognizes 
the custom and emphasizes its value when, 
10 the Colossian Christians, he writes : "Let 
the word of Christ dwell in vou richlv in all 
wisdom; teaching and admonishing one an- 
other in psalms and hymns and spiritual 
songs, singing Avith grace in your hearts to 
the Lord" (Col. 3:10). Numerous rythmical 
passages in his epistles are also fragments of 
primitive hymns, suggesting both the doc- 
trinal and devotional value of singing in the 
early Church. His marvelous climax relative 
to the great "'mystery of godliness" (1 Tim. 
3:16), which most beautifully summarizes 
the fundamental items in the Christology of 
the primitive Church, is a striking example. 

'Tertullian [born before A. D. 160, died 
after A. D. 220] records that at the love 



feasts, after water was furnished for the 
hands and the lights lit, according as any 
could remember Scripture or compose, * * * 
he Avas invited to sing praises to God for the 
general good;" and Pliny's declaration, that 
"the Christians are wont on a fixed day, be- 
fore dawn, to meet and sing a hymn in al- 
ternate responses to Christ as God.'' is gen- 
erally familiar. 

Throughout all subsequent ages Christian 
hymnodv has increased in volume, richness 

t t 

and effectiveness. Some estimate of the im- 
portant part it has wrought in the making 
of Christian history may be formed from con- 
sidering the voluminous amount of livmnic 
literature now extant. The total number of 
distinctively Christian hvmns in existence is 
not less than 400,000 and Mr. W. T. Stead, in 
his valuable little volume on ^"Hvmns That 
Have Helped," gives the aggregate number as 
500,000. German composers have produced 
nearly 100,000. English composers have pro- 
duced the next largest number. Dr. Watts 
alone wrote between five and six thousand, 
and Charles Wesley upwards of six thousand 
five hundred. It is estimated that the hymns 
of Watts, Wesley, l^rowne, Doddridge, New- 
ton, Beddome, Kelly and Montgomery now in 
use number about B,500; and ^'Mr. Sedgwick. 



an English writer on hymns, i)nblished in 
1801 a catalooue of 018 authors who are rep- 
resented in the various English hymn-books." 

There can be no reasonable doubt that 
those hymns, and tunes as well, Avhich have 
stood the tests of time and criticism, and 
have won their way to general recognition 
as classic productions, are best suited on the 
whole to producing reverence, devotion, spir- 
itualitv, and general soundness in the faith. 
This being true, the growing tendency, aris- 
ing largely from the jirevalence of a wide- 
spread but shallow and sensational revival- 
ism, to relegate these noble prodtictions to 
the shades of forgetfulness. and to substitute 
therefor a class of undignified and shallow 
ditties, and too often of wretched doggerel 
and mere jingling "rag-time'' melodies, is an 
evil omen, and greatly to be lamented. 

('hristians should learn to distinguish be- 
tween good hvmns and mere sentimental 
jingles; between hymns that can be sung by 
the soul, and those Avhich are sung chiefly by 
the feet. According to Earl Nelson, as 
quoted by Hezekiah Butterworth, the marks 
of a good hymn are the following: '*1. It 
must be full of Scripture. 2. Full of indi- 
vidual life and reality. 3. It must have the 
acceptance of the use of the church. 4. It 



must be pure in its English, its rhvme and its 
rvthm." The same eminent authority also 
adds : "A hymn coming from a deep com- 
munion with God, and from the special ex- 
perience of the human heart, at once fulfils, 
and only can fulfil, the tests I haye ventured 
to lay down.'' 

In his "Preparation and Deliyery of Ser- 
mons" Dv. John A. Broadus sets forth the 
qualities of a good hymn more at length, and 
from his presentation of the subject we giye 
the following summar}^ : "A good hymn must 
be: ''(a) Correct in sentiment, (b) Deyo- 
tional in spirit, (c) Poetical in imagery and 
diction, (d) Rythmical; being correct as to 
meter, animated and yaried in moyement, and 
yet not rugged or halting, but truly melo- 
dious, (e) Symmetrical; the yerses exhibit- 
ing a regular progress in thought, and form- 
ing a complete and harmonious whole." 

A collection of hymns conformed to the 
foregoing standards is of immeasurable 
worth as an inspiration in public worship, an 
aid to priyate deyotion, and a means of con- 
serying and propagating sound doctrine. The 
hymns of such a collection '^haye been culled 
from the sacred poetiw of all ages, and so rich 
and abundant is the material that only the 
best lyrics of the best poets can find a per- 



maneiit place among them.'' Such hjmns 
were never written as a pastime, nor as an ex- 
perimentation in the art of poesy; but, like 
tiie productions of the Hebrew Psalter, they 
have as a rule been born of experiences so 
profound, varied and pathetic, that they voice 
the universal emotions of humanity, thereby 
enshrining themselves forever in the favor 
of mankind. 

As a rule the standard hvmns have had an 
origin and history the knowledge of which 
serves to exalt tliem in public appreciation, 
and to increase their value as aids to both 
public and private devotion ; and it is the ob- 
ject of this volume to contribute In some de- 
gree to a wider intelligence than now prevails 
regarding the authorship, origin, history and 
influence of a few of the great hymns of the 

The hvmns considered in the following 
pages are all far above commonplace — hymns 
universallv recoonized as classics and master- 
pieces of their kind. They are productions 
with which every one ^ho speaks the English 
language should be familiar, and which the 
author urges young people especially to com- 
mit thoroughly to memory. Thus treasured 
in the mind they will not only serve as power- 
ful aids in the building up of character, but, 



through the coming* years, will also afford de- 
lightful companionships along the rugged 
hiahwav of life, and be found invaluable 
sources of light, inspiration and comfort in 
times of darkness and depression, and amid 
the gathering shadows of life's declining 
"s ears. 




What is generally considered the sublimest 
and most regal of all Christian hymns is one 
that has come down to us through thirteen 
centuries and more, bearing the title, Te 
DeuTii Laudamus, from the opening words of 
the Latin text, Te Deum laudamus, Te Do- 
minum confitemur — "We praise Thee, O God, 
we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord." Its 
majestic and inspiring strains have for ages 
been among the most familiar rythmical ex- 
])ressions of devotion in every great cathedral 
of the world, and its lofty sentiments of ador- 
ing reverence have evoked responsive echoes 
throughout all Christendom. 

Three great Christian hymns have come 
down to us from antiquity — the Trisagion, or 
Thrice Holy, the Gloria in Excelsis, and the 
Te Deum — "which belong peculiarly and ex- 
clusively to no sect or section of the Church, 
but equally to the whole Church. Neither 
Churchman nor Romanist can claim exclu- 
(sive proprietorship in them; but, like the Bi- 


ble itself, of which they are so evidently the 
offspriug, they belong to all who 'profess and 
call themselves Christians/ of every tongue 
and clime." 

The Te Denm is exceedingly valuable as a 
summary of orthodox Christian beliefs, as 
well as for its adaptation to the loftiest pur- 
})oses of holy song among great assemblies 
of worshipers. Although partaking more the 
character of "measured prose" than of exact 
m.eter, it is nevertheless poetic in conception 
and si)irit, and also in its lofty reach and 
measured and majestic sweep. Rendered as 
we once heard it at one of the Sabbath ser- 
vices of a great eastern university there is 
a power in it sufficient to lift one well nigh 
to the third heaven. The following is the 
English text: 

We praise Thee, O God : we acknowledge Thee 
to be the Lord. 

All the earth doth worship Thee, the Father ever- 

To Thee all angels cry aloud : the heavens and all 
the powers therein. 

To Thee the cherubim and seraphim continually 
do cry. 

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth : 

Heaven and earth are full of the majesty of Thy 

The glorious company of the Apostles praise Thee. 


The goodly fellowship of the Prophets praise Thee, 

The noble army of the Martyrs praise Thee. 

The holy Church throughout the whole world doth 

acknowledge Thee ; 
The Father of an Infinite Majesty : 
Thine adorable, true, and only Son; 
Also the Holy Chost the Comforter. 
Thou art the King of gloiy, O Christ. 
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father. 
When Thou tookest upon Thee to deliver man. 

Thou didst humble Thyself to be born of a 

When Thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death. 

Thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all 

Thou sittest at the right hand of God, in the glorj' 

of the Father. 
We believe that Thou shal't come to be our Judge. 
We therefore pray Thee, help Thy servants whom 

Thou hast redeemed with Thy precious blood. 
Make them to be numbered with Thy saints in 

glory everlasting. 
O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine heritage. 
Govern them, and lift them up for ever. 
Day by day we magnify Thee ; 
And we worship Thy name ever, world without 

Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin. 
O Lord, have mercy upon us. have mercy upon us. 
O Lord, let Thy mercy lighten upon us, as our 

trust is in Thee. 
O Lord, in Thee have I trusted, let me never be 


Dr. Philip Scbaff" has characterized this as 



a ''magnificent antbeni, * * * whirh is 
wortln^ of a ])lace among David's Psalms of 

Mrs. Bundle Cliarles, author of ''The 
Chronicles of the Schonberg Cotta Family," 
savs: ''It is at once a hvmn, a creed and a 
])rayer. It is a creed taking wing and soar- 
ing heavenward; it is Faith seized with a 
►sudden joy as she counts her treasures, and 
lading them at the feet of Jesus in a song; 
it is the incense of prayer rising so near the 
rainbow round about the throne as to catch 
its light and become radiant as well as. fra- 
grant — a cloud of incense illumined into a 
cloud of glory." 

Colonel Nicholas Jr^mith, in his "Hvmns 
Historically Famous," pronounces it "the 
kingliest of all the songs which have come 
down to us from anti(iuity." and further 
says, "In universality of use no ascription 
of praise in modern times compares with it, 
except IMshoj) Ken's doxology." 

Dr. W. R. Huntington, of New York, is 
ciuoted as saying: "Other hymns may sur- 
l)ass . the Te Deuni in exhibition of this or 
that state of feeling, but there is none other 
ihat combines, as this combines, all the ele- 
ments that enter into a Christian's concep- 
tion of reliiiion. The Te Dor.m i-s an orches- 


tra in which, no single instrument is lacking ; 
first or last, every chord is struck, every note 
sounded. The soul listens and is satisfied; 
not one of her large demands has been dis- 

The authorship of this ancient production 
is involved in obscurity. Tt has been popu- 
larly but uncritically ascribed to St. Am- 
brose, or, more accurately speaking, to 
Saints Ambrose and Augustine conjointly. 
A picturesque and popular tradition relates 
how Ambrose, as he led Augustine up from 
his baptism, under a sudden inspiration from 
above broke out in singing. 

"We praise Thee, O God : we acknowledge Thee 
to be tbe Lord ;" 

whereu])on Augustine, under the power of a 
like inspiration responded, 

"All tbe earth doth worship Thee, the Father ever- 
lasting :" 

and that the whole hymn was produced in 
this manner, Ambrose, and Augustine each 
responsively producing and singing verse 
after verse. 

This account must be regarded as chiefly 
symbolical and legendary, however, inasmuch 
as no mention is made of either the circum- 
stance or the hvmn in the works of the distin- 


giiished fathers to whose joint .authorship it is 
ascribed. Nor has the most thorough research 
found any mention of the hymn as employed 
in i)ublic worship before the beginning of the 
sixth century, when St. Caesarius Aries or- 
dered it to be sung in the Sunday morning 
services. It is generally believed among 
scholars to have originated, like the Apostles' 
Creed, in a growth covering a consider- 
able period of time. Dr. Schaff informs 
us that several lines of the hymn, as 
it finally a})peared at the beginning of the 
sixth centurv, "can be traced to an older 
Greek original," and the Schaff-Herzog En- 
cyclopedia of Religious Knowledge regards it 
as "a translation, in part, probably by Am- 
brose, of an older Greek hymn." From its 
popular ascription to St. Ambrose it is known 
as "the Ambrosian hymn." 

The Te Deum has been associated with a 
greater variety of celebrated events in history 
than anv other hvmn of the Church. It is 
commonly sung on all great occasions of de- 
liverance and triumph, and at the coronation 
of kings and queens. "Its strains have 
leaped the barriers of thirteen centuries, hav- 
ing been chanted at the baptism of Clovis, 
at Paris, in 496, sung at the coronation of 
Nicholas II., of Russia, 1894, and in 1897 it 



was the song of rejoicing at the Diamond 
Jubilee ot Queen Victoria." It is said to 
have been sung by order of Frederick the 
Great to commemorate the battle of Prague 
in 1774, to the setting by Graun, generally 
regarded as the most famous musical render- 
ing of the hymn on the Continent. It was 
also sung to celebrate the recovery of the 
Prince of Wales in 1872, and as a hymn of 
thanksgiving for the safety of Napoleon III., 
in 1854. Naturally enough in view of its 
celebrity, it is "a theme upon which the most 
celebrated composers have exercised their 
musical genius." 

This hymn was largely instrumental in the 
conversion of Thomas Olivers, a verv wicked 
and profligate youth, who finally became a 
Wesleyan preacher of great power, and who 
WTOte the hymn beginning, — 

"The God of Abrah'm praise, 
Who reigns enthroned above," 

which has won highest praise from poets and 
scholars generally. Olivers became one of 
Wesley's most valued preachers, and was con- 
sidered by Wesley as fully a match for Top- 
lady in the doctrinal discussions incident to 
the great Calvinistic controversy of the time. 
After thirty -six vears of faithful and effi- 


cient work be passed peacefully to his reward 
ill 1799. 

The following narrative, calling to mind a 
bit of thrilling and comparatively recent his- 
tory with which the Te Deuni was and ever 
will be associated, is quoted from Colonel 
Smith's ^'Hvmns Historically Famous:" 

''The universality of the Te Deum is illus- 


trated in this incident: On the first Sunday 
in Sej)tember, 1900, a solemn high mass was 
celebrated in the Cathedral of Peking. It 
was a thanksgiving service in which the peo- 
ple joined in expressing gratitude that the 
armies of the allied powers had so promptly 
and successfully marched to the city at the 
trumpet call of humanity. 

"There were two special features associ- 
ated with that solemn, yet inspiring occa- 
sion. On the facade and spires of the Cathe- 
dral, that had suffered much from the shot 
and shell of the Boxers, waved in triumph the 
flags of America, Austria, Belgium, France, 
Great Britain, Italy, Japan and Russia. 
Among tbe worshipers on that day were min- 
isters representing many governments, and 
missionaries of all creeds. The climax of in- 
terest was reached when the organ and choir 
broke forth into that universal ascription of 
praise — the Te Deum Laudamus. It seemed 



to thrill that body of men and women as no 
other com]>osition possibly could at such a 
time as that. 'It was the anthem of the 
brotherhood of men on that day.' '' 

It will be a matter of interest to Methodist 
readers in particular to know that Charles 
Wesle}- wrote a sublime metrical paraphrase 
of this stately and ancient hymn. The para- 
phrase contained fourteen six-line long meter 
stanzas, and was published in the poet's 
"Hymns for Those That Seek Redemption." 
in 1747. In the English Hymn Book of later 
date it is so diy'ded as to make three hymns 
respectiyely beginning as follows : 

"Infinite God, to Thee we raise." 
"Messiab, joy of every heart." 
"Savioi-, we now rejoice in hope." 

In the ^Methodist hymnals of this country 
only a part of the paraphrase appears; nor 
is there uniformity among the yarious books 
as to the portions used, each compiling com- 
mittee combining into a single hymn such 
stanzas of the original as best suits the ma- 
jority. The following stanzas will giye a fair 
idea of the general character of the hymn as 
I»araphrased by tlie poet of Methodism : 

Infinite God, to Thee we raise 

Our hearts in solemn songs of praise : 



By all Tby works on eartb adored, 
We worship Thee, the common Lord ; 
The everlasting Father own, 
And bow ourselves before Thy throne. 

God of the patriarchal race. 

The ancient seers record Thy praise ; 

The goodly apostolic band 

In highest joy and glory stand ; 

And all the saints and prophets join 

To extol Thy majesty divine. 

Head of the martyr's noble host. 
Of Thee they justly make their boast; 
The Churr-h to earth's remotest bounds. 
Her heavenly Founder's praise resounds; 
And strives with those around the throne, 
To hymn the mystic Three in One. 

Father of endless majesty, 
All might and love we render Thee ; 
Thy true and only Son adore, 
The same in dignity and power ; 
And Cod the Holy Ghost declare. 
The saints' eternal Comforter. 

Tune — "St. Chrysostom." 

There is a stateliness and sublimity charac- 
teristic of the Te Deiim Laudamus in its 
original form which Mr. Wesley has admir- 
ably preserved in his incomparable para- 
phrase of the same. According to Mr. Ste- 
venson this paraphrase has very generally 
but erroneously been ascribed to the poet 



Dryden, who published a version of the hymn, 
but much inferior to this. Drjden's is in 
decasyllabic verse, and begins — 

"Thee, sovereign God, our grateful accents praise, 
We own Tbee Lord, and bless Thy wondrous 



heber's trixity-suxday hyimn 

The noblest of all livmns ever written to 
express adoration of tlie Holy Trinity is 
Bishop Heber's hvmn for '^Trinity Sunday,'^ 

"Holy. holy. holy. Lord God Almighty!" 

Xo accoun: of its origin is available, the hymn 
not having been published until after the 
death of its illustrious author, and nothing 
regarding how it came to be written having 
been left among his effects. To the end of 
time, however, this majestic anthem will 
stand on its merits and rank ampng the 
loftiest and sublimest productions in the 
hvmnodv of the Church. Tennvson regarded 
it as the finest devotional lyric ever written 
in any language. 

Reginald Heber, the author of this famous 
production, was born at Malpas, Cheshire, 
England, in April, 1783. He was educated 
at Oxford, where he early won the prize for 
the best poems in both Latin and English. 


<3 «»^_ 




He traveled two years after leaving the uni- 
versity, and then, after his ordination in 
1807, became rector at Hodnet. the family liv- 
ing of that parish having been given him 
by his brother. For sixteen vears he labored 
faithfully among the people of Hodnet, to 
whom he became greatly endeared. He was 
appointed Missionary Bishop to Calcutta in 
1823, after having on two former occasions 
declined the appointment on account of his 
wife and child. His deep interest in mis- 
sions, however, and particularly his fondness 
for India, finally led him to accept the ap- 
pointment; and, on June 16th, 1823, he 
turned from his delightful home at Hodnet 
toward his new field on "India's coral 
strand," never again to revisit the scenes from 
which he so reluctantlv and vet courageouslv 
turned awav. 


Bishop Heber entered upon the work of his 
vast field, which included all India, Ceylon, 
the Mauritius, and Australasia, with great 
zeal and courage; and his admirable spirit, 
great abilities and energetic devotion to the 
welfare of India's millions left a deep and 
imperishable impression for good upon his 
extensive diocese. But the good man's admin- 
istration was destined to be brief. Return- 
ing from a service at Trichinopoly, April 3rd, 



1820, where he had confirmed a large class of 
natives, he retired for the purpose of taking 
a cold bath, and half an hour later was found 
dead in his room by his servant, a stroke of 
apoplexy having taken him off instantly. 

Bishop Heber wrote fifty-seven hymns of 
rare merit, all of which are supposed to have 
been written during his ministry at Hodnet, 
and all of which are said to be in common 
use. He will always be particularly and de- 
lightfully remembered in connection with and 
as the author of that stirring missionary 

"From Greenlaiid's icy mountain," 

considered elsewhere in this volume, and 
which alone would have been sufficient to im- 
mortalize his name. But the sublimest and 
divinest of all his sacred lyrics is Trinity- 
Sunday Hymn, of which the following in the 
original form: 

Holy, holy, holy, T^rd God Almighty! 

Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee; 

Holy, holy, holy, merciful' and mighty! 

God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity! 

Holy, holy, holy! all the saints adore Thee, 
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy 

Cherubim and Seraphim falling down before Thee, 
Which wert, and art, and evermore shall be, 



Holy, holy, holy I though the darkness hlcle Thee, 
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not 

Only Thou art holy, there is none beside Thee, 
l*erfect in power, in love, in purity. 

Holy, holy, holy. Lord God Almighty! 

All Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth and 

sky and sea ; 
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty ! 
God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity. 

Tune — "Nicea." 

"This grand hymn has been sung into 
great popularity/' says Mr. G. J. Stevenson, 
^'aniong Churchmen whose music is in keep- 
ing with their ritual ; but the spiritless level 
of their monotonous chant has been utterly 
unsuited to the words themselves. Sung on 
Sabbath morning as an anthem, as it now 
is every Sunday in some Methodist churches, 
to the tune 'Trinity/ by A. Stone,/ it goes 
with exhilarating force. The words and mu- 
sic harmonizing, raise the singer to the high- 
est point of hallowed praise. It thus becomes 
a kindling and exultant melody.'' 

While ''Trinity" may be the tune most ac- 
ceptable to English Methodists, "Nicea," in 
the composition of which for this particular 
hA'mn in adoration of the Holv Trinity no 
less a master than Dykes "reached the zenith 



of his musical genius," is generally regarded 
as better suited to the character of the hvnm 
than any other ever written. The tune was 
happily named from Nice, in Asia Minor, 
where, in A. D. .325. the first Christian Ecu- 
menical Council was held, which determined 
that the Eternal Sonship of Christ and his 
equality with the Father should constitute a 
part of the creed of the Church. The great 
popularity of the hymn is chiefly due to its 
association with this majestic tune, to which 
it is usually sung throughout the English- 
speaking world. 

"Holy, holy, holy," was first published 
among Bishop Heber's posthumous hymns, 
in 1827. accordiuo^ to Julian's •'Dictionary of 
Hymnology." It was soon adopted by hymn- 
book compilers generally, and at length be- 
came the best known and most widely used of 
all the author's hymns. It is a magnificent 
metrical paraphrase of Revelation 4 : 8-11 : 
''And they rest not day and night saying. 
Holy, holy, holy. Lord God Almighty, which 
was, and is, and is to come," etc. Xor could 
the S]»irit of the whole chapter be better ex- 
pressed in metrical form than Heber has ex- 
pressed it in this incomparable anthem. 




No loftier hymn of praise to Jesus Clirist 
has ever been written in any language than 

"All hail the power of Jesus' name." 

"If the Te Deum be the Hymn of Praise set 
apart by the Universal Church as the su- 
preme expression of gratitude and adora- 
tion/' savs Mr. W. T. Stead, ^'the hvmn which 
serves the same purpose m English congre- 
gations is ^A.11 Hail the Power of Jesus' name.' 
It is one of the ten hymns most used in English- 
speaking lauds." It was written in 1779, and 
was first x>ublished anonymously in the Gos- 
pel Magazine the following year. In 1785 
it appeared in a collection of ^'Occasional 
Verses, Moral and Sacred,' which, though 
anonymous, was generally known to be Mr. 
Perronet's production. It is the only hymn of 
the author which has found its way into 
standard hymnals, ''but one needs to write 



only one such livmn to gain an enviable im- 
mortality in the Christian Church." 

Edward Perronet, son of the Rev. Vincent 
Perronet. ''an excellent English clergyman of 
the old school, who was vicar at Shoreham 
for fifty years," and at one time a confiden- 
tial friend of John Weslev, was a man of 
very unassuming character. His life was one 
of trying and changeful vicissitudes, amidst 
which he was ever sustained by a strong and 
unwavering faith. Though a member of the 
English Church he was for some time a 
Methodist itinerant preacher under John 
Wesley, with whom he endured many hard- 
ships, as, for instance, when at Bolton he 
*'was thrown down and rolled in mud and 
mire," while at the chapel "stones were 
hurled and windows broken." He was one 
of the preachers appointed under the patron- 
age of the Countess of Huntington, in which 
position his ardent zeal, coupled with his 
deep humility and his broad and tender sym- 
pathy, made him a shining success. 

At heart, however, Mr. Perronet was de- 
cidedly hostile to the union of Church and 
State, and this hostility finally found out- 
ward expression in the production of an a- 
nonymous poem entitled, "The Mitre," which 
was devoted to keenly satirizing the Estab- 



lished Church. This brought upon him the 
strong disapprobation of the Countess, and 
finally occasioned his withdrawal from the 
position held under her patronage. Later 
he became pastor of a small congregation of 
Dissenters, to whom he ministered accept- 
ably until summoned from earthly labor to 
his heayenly reward, in January, 1792. 

The death of Perronet is described as a 
most triumphant one. His last utterances, 
well worthy the author of that matchless 
hymn which has been an inspiration to so 
many millions, added much to the sublimity 
and impressiyeness of the occasion: 

"Orory to God in the height of His divinity ! 
Glory to God In the depth of His humanity ! 
Glory to God in His all-sufficiency I 
Into His hands I commend my spirit!" 

In its original form *^\11 hail the power of 
JesUvS' name" contained eight stanzas. It 
has undergone so many changes that we re- 
produce it here as originally written: 

All hall the power of Jesus' name! 

Let angels prostrate fall ; 
Bring forth the royal diadem, 

To crown Him Lord of all! 

Let high-born seraphs tune the lyre, 
And, as they tune it, fall 



Before His face who tunes their choir, 
And crown Him Lord of all ! 

Crown Him, ye morning stars of light. 

Who fixed this floating ball ; 
Now hail the strength of Israel's might, 

And crown Him Lord of all ! 

Crown Him, ye martyrs of your God, 

Who from His altar call; 
Extol the Stem of Jesse's rod, 

And crown Him Lord of all I 

Ye seed of Israel's chosen race, 

Ye ransomed of the fall. 
Hail Him who saves you by His grace. 

And crown Him Lord of all ! 

Hail Him. ye heirs of Jacob's line. 

Whom David Lord did call. 
The God Incarnate, Man divine. 

And crown Him Lord of all I 

Sinners, whose love can ne'er forget 

The wormwood and the gall. 
Go, spread your trophies at His feet, 

And crown Him Lord of all ! 

Let every tribe and every tongue 

That bound creation's call, 
Now shout in universal song, 

And crown Him Lord of all ! 

Tune — "Coronation." 

Most of the alterations found in the hymn 
»• we now sing it are improvements. Some 



of them, however, have been the subjects of 
uiifavora])le criticism, but, owing to their hav- 
ing been so long accei)ted, it seems likely that 
the hymn in its present form will remain un- 

The last stanza of the hymn as it now ap- 
pears in all the hymnals was not written by 
Mr. Perronet, but bv some unknown hand. 
Colonel Nicholas Smith in ^'Hvmns Histori- 
cally Famous*' says, upon what authority we 
do not know, that it was ''written bv Dr. 
Rippon, of London, in 1787." For more thaii 
a century it has constituted a part of the 
hymn, and so fitting a climax does it form 
that it appears to have been inspired for the 

An incident in the experience of Rev. E. 
P. Scott, a missionarv in India, as related bv 
Mr. William Reynolds, a gentleman of wide 
reputation in Sunday-school circles, illus- 
trates the power of this hymn and tune over 
the worst and most dangerous of heathen 
tribes. He had gone, against the remon- 
strances of his friends, to take the gospel to 
one of the island tribes noted for their savage 
and murderous proclivities. No sooner had 
he arrived than he was met bv a dozen 
pointed spears, and instant death appeared 
inevitable. While they paused a moment he 



drew out his violin, with which he always 
accompaDied his sacred soDgs, and, closing 
his eves, began to play Coronation and sing 
a translation of this hymn which those about 
him could all understand. ^^When he had 
finished he opened his eyes to witness, as he 
thought, his own death at the point of their 
spears; but to his joy he found that the 
spears had fallen and his murderers were all 
in tears. This song had saved him from 
death, and opened an effectual door for the 
preaching of the gospel to the tribe." It is 
said that he remained with them many years, 
doing a great work for them and surrounding 
tribes, and finally died among them, beloved 
and venerated by all. 

During the year 18G0 one of the greatest 
revivals of the last century occurred in Ire- 
land. Mr. White, a general missionary, 
whose position and observation enabled him 
to write intelligently regarding the great 
work, in a report of the same originally pub- 
lished in the American and Foreign Christian 
Union Magazine, of Dublin, in 1860, and re- 
published the same year in the Earnest 
Christian, of Buffalo, New York, gave the fol- 
lowing description of the services of one par- 
ticularly memorable Sabbath : 

"At our morning service, at ten o'clock, we 



had a down-pour of heavenh' blessings. The 
congregation was very large, almost entirely 
composed of those who were happy in God. 
How easy it was to preach to them! How 
good was it to be there! At four o'clock in 
the afternoon we had an open-air service in 
the field, where the former meeting was held. 
Between four and five thousand were there. 
Brother Wilson opened the meeting with 
praise and prater. Mr. Johnson, Wesleyan 
minister, read the scriptures and prayed. 
Then Mr. Wilev, from Belfast, a Presbv- 
terian, addressed the meeting with great 
power. After this I preached a short sermon 
on the sufferings of Christ for sinners and 
the service was concluded with a short 
prayer-meeting. It was a very solemn time. 
Many wept silently; others groaned in dis- 
tress, one was stricken, and all seemed con- 
scious that God was there. 

"It was a beautiful, calm summer evening. 
It seemed as if God had hushed the winds, 
arrested the rain and curtained the sun with 
clouds, so that we worshiped with great com- 
fort. It was announced that our chapel, the 
Presbyterian church, and the Wesleyan 
chapel, were to be opened for prayer-meet- 
ings, when the people retired from the field. 
As they moved down the slope of the beauti- 



ful hill leading to the town, a few friends 
commenced singing — 

'All hail the power of Jesus' name ! 

Let an.f?els prostrate fall ; 
Bring forth the royal diadem 

And crown Him Lord of all.' 

"The miititnde joined with much earnest- 
ness in singing this beautiful hj^mn ; and sel- 
dom did such music float on the evening air. 
T have read of the glorious march of the 
armies after a victory, as they entered the 
capitol of their country with martial music, 
amidst the plaudits of the populace, and felt 
the blood course more quickl}^ through my 
veins as I read of the glorious spectacle: but 
what is such a pageant when compared with 
such a spectacle as this — four thousand men 
and women, from different parts of the coun- 
try, of different denominations, manv of 
whom had never seen each other before, and 
all singing — 

'- *Crown Him Lord of all!' 

"It was doubtless music that angels bent 
down from their seats of glory to listen to.'^ 

It was estimated that not less than 80,000 
«ouls had been converted to God up to the 
time when Mr. White's report was written. 



nnd still the good work wns moving on with 
nnabated interest. 

A pions man lay dying. Just before the 
end came he turned to his daughter, bent 
lovingly over his bed, and said : "Bring — " 
but could go no further, for the power of 
utterance failed him. The grief-stricken 
daughter looked with earnest gaze into his 
lace and said: "What shall I bring, my fa- 
ther?" "Bring — /' he gasped, and again his 
voice failed him. His child was now in an 
agony of desire to know her dying father's 
last request, and she said: "Dear, precious 
father, do trv to tell me what vou want. T 
will do anvthing vou wish me to do.'' The 
dying man then rallied all his strength and 
murmured : 

"Briug — forth — the royal — diadeui. 
And crown Him Lord of all \" 

And with these words he sank to rest and 
spoke no more. 



medley's hymn to CHRIST OUR KING 

One of the sublimest of all hymns in cele- 
braiion of the Kingship of Jesus Christ — a 
lyric worthy to be coupled with Perronet's 
*^\11 hail the power of Jesus' name" — is Sam- 
uel Medley's 

"O conld I speak the matchless worth, 
O could I sound the glories forth, 
Which in my Savior shine!" 

It first appeared in the Author's ''Hymns/' 
in 1789, with eight six-line stanzas. The 
original was entitled, ^'Christ Our King." 
The four stanzas of which it is composed as 
found in most modern hymnals are the sec- 
ond, tifth. sixth and eighth stanzas of the 

The hymn was fully reprinted in the Lyra 
Britannica, beginning with the line, 

"Not of terrestrial mortal themes." 

It neyer became popular until Dr, Lowell 



Mason, in 1836, wedded it to Mozart's "Ariel," 
so altered as to adapt it to the purpose. 
Then, ''like Aaron's rod that budded, the 
splendid old song took new life, and is now 
laid up in the ark of our Christian hvm- 
nody." The text of the hvmn, as now gener- 
ally published, is as follows : 

Oh could I speak the matchless worth, 
Oh could I sound the glories forth, 

Which in my Savior shine I 
I'd soar and touch the heavenly strings, 
And vie with Gabriel while he sings 

In notes almost divine. 

I'd sing the precious blood he spilt, 
My ransom from the dreadful guilt 

Of sin and wrath divine : 
I'd sing his glorious righteousness, 
In which all-perfect, heavenly dress 

My soul shall ever shine. 

I'd sing the characters he bears. 
And all the forms of love he wears, 

Exalted on His throne: 
In loftiest songs of sweetest praise, 
I would through everlasting days 

Make all His glories known. 

Well, the delightful day will come, 

When my dear Lord will bring me home, 

And I shall see His face: 
Then with my Savior, Brother, Friend. 



A blest eternity I'll spend, 
Triumphant iu His grace. 

Tune— "Ariel.'* 

The hymn is one of lofty sweep and senti- 
ment, every way suited to the exalted theme 
of which it treats, and admirably adapted foy 
use in public worship. Well rendered it is 
powerful in its effect upon the worshipers, and, 
judging from the writer's own experience, is 
equally helpful as an inspiration for preach- 

Samuel Medley, the author of the hymn, 
was born in Hertfordshire, England, in 1738. 
He was reared in a godly home, and by de- 
voted Christian parents. Notwithstanding 
this, he became a reckless and wicked youth, 
joined the navy, and, in his soldier life, went 
farther and farther away from God. He be- 
came a midshipman and is said to have 
fought bravely under some of old William 
Pitt's stout admirals. Being severely wound- 
ed in the service in 1759, he was allowed to 
return home, where, through the efforts of 
his pious grandfather, who read to him Isaac 
Watts's sermon on Isaiah 42:6, 7, he was 
soundly converted to God. 

Following his conversion Medley aban- 
doned his sea-faring life, taught school for 
a number of years, and then, as Dr. Cuyler 



puts it, "entered the army of Christ's min- 
isters, serving in the Baptist 'corps' with re- 
markable zeal and success." 

For many years he served as pastor of a 
Baptist church in Liverpool, where he at- 
tracted large numbers of seamen to his 
chapel. While serving in this capacity he 
wrote two hundred and thirty hvmns, which, 
the year after his death, were published in a 
volume entitled. "Hymns. The Public Wor- 
ship and Private Devotions of True Chris- 
tians Assisted, in some thoughts in verse, 
Principally drawn from Select Passages in 
the Word of God. By Samuel Medley." The 
hymn we are considering quite appropriately 
stood first in this published collection of his 
sacred lyrics. 

Although a settled pastor Medley went out 
at times on missionary tours, and preached 
the gospel, as did the early Methodists, in 
whatever places were accessible. On one of 
these tours he was preaching in a barn from 
the text, ^*cast down, but not destroyed." 
During the discourse the rude pulpit on which 
he stood gave way, throwing him to the 
floor. Unhurt "he leaped to his feet and hu- 
morously exclaimed: ''Well, friends, you 
see we too are 'cast down, but not de- 
stroyed.' " 



"Like Perronet, Samuel Medley died 
shouting," says Dr. Cuyler in his ''Hymns of 
Honor to Christ." ^'On his dying bed he 
seemed to be watching the points of a com- 
pass, and ke])t saying, 'One point more; now 
only one ])oint more.' Then he shouted, 
'How sweet will be the port after the storm ! 
Dying is sweet work ! Home, home, hallelujah ! 
Glory I Home, IwmcP And so the glorious 
old mariner passed in, with sails set, to 'the 
desired haven'." 

Then began with Samuel Medley the rea- 
lization of that exalted hope and glorious an- 
ticipation expressed, when in the last stanza 
of the hymn, he wrote : 

"Well, the deligktfiil day will come 
When my dear Lord will bring me home, 

And I shall see His face ; 
Then with my Savior, Brother, Friend, 
A blest eternity I'll spend. 

Triumphant in His grace." 

Forgiven much, he loved much, and wrote, 
"O could 1 speak the matchless worth." as 
an expression of that love, and in exaltation 
of the Christ who, from the very depths of 
sin and ruin, had redeemed and saved him. 


BISHOP ken's sublime doxology 

Preeminently above all other metrical as- 
criptions of praise in its popularity and in 
its approach to universality is Bishop Ken's 
sublime Doxology: 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow ; 
Praise Ilini, all creatures bere below; 
Praise Him above, ye beavenly host ; 
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 

Tune — "Old Hundred." 

Originally forming the closing stanza of 
the author's Morning Hymn, 

"Awake, my sonl, and with the sun 
Thy daily stage of duty run," 

he derived so much benefit from its use in 
his morning worship that he also added it to 
his now equally popular Evening Hymn. 

"Glory to Thee, my God, this night. 
For all the blessings of the light." 

So greatly was the good Bishop in love 



with his own sacred lyrics that he believed, 
shoiild he gain heaven and be permitted to 
hear the singing of his songs by the saints 
on earth, it would add much to his enjoyment 
in that celestial world. The thought was 
thus expressed : 

"And phould the well-meant song I leave behind, 
With Jesns' lovers some acceptance find, 
'T^^•ill heighten e'en the joj^s of heaven to know 
That, in my verse, saints sing God's praise below." 

Tf such a privilege as that for Avhich he 
hoped be granted to the saints in heaven, 
then surely Bishop Ken's joy must be im- 
measurably great, since no other stanza ever 
written is sung so often and so widely among 
(Christians of all denominations as his grand 

Thomas Ken. a Bishop of the Church of 
Ivlngland, was born at Little Berkhampstead, 
in Berkshire. England, in 1657. After his 
ordination he was made Chaplain to the 
Princess of Orange, and later to Charles IT. 
In 1684 he was made Bishop of Bath and 
Wells. Bv order of James IT. he was iTniiris- 
oned in the Tower of London, with six other 
bishops, for his refusal to sign the Declara- 
tion of Indulgence, their release being se- 
cured by popular feeling, however, after 



their trial. "At the Revolution he declined 
to swear allegiance to William III., and re- 
tired into private life, spending his remain- 
inj? davs iu the maonificent mansion of an 
endeared friend, at Longleat. Wilts, where he 
died in March, 1710." 

The good Bishop was the author of three 
immortal compositions — his Morning, Even- 
ing and Midnight Hymns — first published in 
1675 at the end of a '"Manual of Pravers" for 
the use of boys in Winchester School, where 
Ken himself had been educated. Refer ring- 
to these three productions James Mont- 
gomery said, as quoted by Stevenson, "Had 
the Bishop endowed three hospitals, he 
might have been less a benefactor to pos- 

Bishop Ken was a sweet singer as well as 
a skilful composer, and found great delight 
in rendering the songs of Zion, especially 
when called to "endure hardness as a good 
soldier of Jesus Christ." "It was the habit 
of this saintly sufferer," says Mr. Stead, "to 
accojnpany his ever cheerful voice with the 
lute which penetrated beyond his prison 
vralls; and the oft-repeated song of praise, 
which was soon taken up by his religious 
sympathizers listening without, has gone on 
singing itself into the hearts of Christians 



until tlie fragment has very nearly ap- 
proached the hymn universal." 

''Old hundred," the tune with which this 
magnificent Doxology is almost invariably as- 
sociated, was composed by Wilhelm Franc, a 
German musician, whose work in this case is 
thoucrht bv some authorities to have been re- 
vised bv Martin Luther. 

Bishop Ken's Doxology is alike adapted to 
expressing the gratitude of living saints in 
their most enraptured moments, and the trust, 
comfort and hope of dying pilgrims as they 
bid farewell to earthly scenes and go "sweep- 
ing through tlie gates" into the golden City 
of God. It is sung with tremendous effect 
in great assemblies met to celebrate national 
deliverances and v^'ctories. 

It was sung under decidedly peculiar cir- 
cumstances in New York Citv on October 
15th, 1884. A vast concourse of people 
awaited till late at night in front of the Re- 
publican headquarters the returns from an 
important Ohio election. It was two o'clock 
in the morning before the last bulletin ap- 
peared. A short time previous to its appear- 
ance a multitude of voices were singing "We 
won't go home till morning;" but the mo- 
ment the last .message was displayed the 
steropticon flashed out the line — "Praise 




God from whom nil ble»«ings flow. Good 
Diglit." — whereupon^ according to one of the 
newspaper reports. '^A deep- voiced man in 
the throng pitched the Doxology, and a 
mighty volume of song swept upward, the 
lights went out, and the happy watchers de- 
parted to their homes." 

The strains of this sublime stanza are oft- 
repeated in evei'T great revival season, some- 
times, as in one of Billy Dawson's meetings 
where it was repeated thirty-five times in a 
single evening, being sung after every new 
conversion. "A twelve miles' walk, through 
the midnight hours, and in the snow of a 
cold Februarv," savs Mr. Stevenson in rela- 
ting this last occurrence, "did not dissipate 
the blessedness of the memories of that dav, 
and they are fresh and fragrant on the mind 
of the writer after the lapse of nearly fifty 

Hundreds of departing saints have also 
uttered or attempted to utter its lofty strains 
with their expiring breath, as expressive of 
their iov in the consciousness of victorv over 
the last enemy. 

"Glory be to God, T am come to the mount! 
I am filled with the glory of God I" exclaimed 
John West, an English Methodist who had 
joined the church in times of persecution and 


had been faithful in all things, as he wai 
about to make passage to the heavenly home. 
Then followed an effort to sing — 

*'l»raise God from whom all blessings flow ! 
Pi'Riso Him. all creatures bere below :*' 

after which he said to those about him, "Tell 
the friends, Jesus is a precious Savior," 
closed his eyes, and went to be "forever with 
the Lord/' 

"Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart 
in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salva- 
tion," exclaimed Elizabeth Hudson, convert- 
ed at twenty and thereafter made instru- 
mental in building up two strong and flour- 
ishing ^fethodist societies, as she found her 
dav of earthly service closing. Shortly after- 
ward she was taken with a fatal fever, and, 
when apprised of the situation, was filled with 
joy at knowing she was so near the "desired 
haven." To a friend who asked, "Are you 
happy?" she replied. "Oh, yes; I feel more 
than I can express." In the evening, waving 
her hand, she exclaimed : 

"Praise God from whom air blessings flow ; 
Praise Him, all creatures bere below : 
Praise Him above, ye beavenlj host : 
Praise Fatber. Son, and Holy Ghost." 



Then declaring, ''Christ is precious, and I 
long to be with Him,'' she passed within the 
vail. There, in accordance with her longing, 
to "see the King in His beauty," and abide 
in His palace forever. 

In his book on "The King's Stewards" Dr. 
Louis Albert Banks relates the following 
storv, which also strikinglv illustrates the 
power of this old Doxology : 

A man who was for a long time shut up 
in Libby Prison savs that they used to con- 
sole themselves frequently by singing the 
Doxology, "Praise God from whom all 
blessings flow/' Dav after day they saw 
comrades passing away, and their numbers 
increasing by fresh living recruits for the 
grave. One night, about ten o'clock, through 
the stillness and the darkness they heard the 
tramp of coming feet that soon stopped be- 
fore the prison door until aiTangements 
could be made inside. In the company was a 
young Baptist minister, whose heart almost 
fainted as he looked on those cold walls and 
thought of the suffering inside. Tired and 
weary, he sat down, put his face in his hands 
and wept. Just then a lone voice of deep, 
sweet i^athos sung out from an upper win- 

"Praise God from whom all blessings flow," 



and a dozen manly voices joined in the second 

"Praise Him, all creatures here below ;" 

then by the time the third was reached more 
than a score of hearts were full, and joined 
to send the words on high, 

"Praise Him above, ye heavenly host ;" 

by this time the prison was all alive and 
seemed to quiver with the sacred song, as 
from every room and cell those brave men 
sang — 

"Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!" 

As the song died out on the still night that 
enveloped in darkness the doomed city of 
Richmond, the young man arose and happily 
began himself to sing : 

"And prisons would palaces prove. 

If Jesus would dwell with me there." 






Nearly every hymn-book we have ever ex- 
amined contains James Montgomery's hymn 
on the natnre of prayer, beginning — 

"Prayer is the soul's sincere desire, 
Uttered, or unexpressed." 

it was written in 1818 at the request of the 
Rev. E. Bickersteth, for that distinguished 
clergyman's "Treatise on Prayer," and was 
published under the title, "What is Prayer?" 
The first five stanzas are wholly didactic, 
or suited to purposes of instruction rather 
than of devotion, and the sixth stanza, which 
contains a fervent prayer, is the only one hav- 
ing the qualities of a genuine hymn. As the 
jfpirit of this stanza pervades those preced- 
ing it, however, and as the first five stanzas, 
containing the finest metrical setting forth 
of the nature of true prayer ever written, pre- 
pare the way for the more fervent breathing 
of the sentiment expressed in the last stanza, 
the x>ro(l"<*tion has not only won its way to 



general recognition as a liymn, but also to 
a popularity greater than any other its high- 
ly gifted author ever wrote. 

The following is the full text of the hymn, 
which every Christian, old and young, should 
thoroughly know by heart : 

Prayer is the sbul's sincere desire, 

Uttered, or iiiiexpressecl ; 
The motion of a liidden fire 

That trembles in the breast. 

Trayer is the burden of a sigh, 

The falling of a tear, 
The upward glancing of an eye. 

When none but God is near. 

Prayer is the simplest form of speech 

That infant lips can try ; 
Prayer the sublimest strains that reach 

The Majesty on high. 

Prayer is the Christian's vital breath. 

The Christian's native air ; 
His watchword at the gates of death ; 

He enters heaven with prayer. 

Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice, 

Returning from his ways, 
While angels in their songs rejoice, 

And cry, "Behold, he prays!" 



O Thou, by whom we come to God, 

The Life, the Truth, the Way ! 
The path of prayer Thyself hast trod : 

Lord, teach us how to pray. 

Tune — "Naomi" or "Marlow." 

I'lie author of these remarkable lines once 
feaici he had received directly and indirectly 
more testimonials to the appreciation of 
them than of any other hvmn he had written, 
which shows two things, namely, the almost 
universal interest of men and women in the 
subject of prayer, and their keen perception 
of and profound satisfaction in a hymn that 
expresses the heart of that subject. Besides 
having found its way into most hymnals of 
our time it is worthy of note that Dr. Adam 
Clarke regarded this hymn as of suflScient 
merit to occupy a place in his great Com- 
mentary on the Holy Scriptures. 

Nothing ever written on the subject more 
beautifully sets forth the simplicity and dig- 
nity of a true supplicant's act of devotion as 
he bends before the mercy-seat in prayer than 
this noble Ivric. None but a man of devout 
spirit and accustomed to communion with 
his Maker at the throne of grace could have 
given us such a production. To the fact of 
its having been born of experience in the holy 
art of supplication it chiefly owes its popular- 



ity. As long as human aspiration Godward 
seeks expression in prayer and supplication 
this simple but glowing lyric will live and re- 
tain its popularity in the hymnody of the 

Ahmtgomery never dreamed when writing 
this the most popular of all his hymns that 
there was anything in it prophetic of his own 
death, jet the peculiar circumstances of his 
departure show such to have been the case. 
One evening in 1854, he conducted family 
worship, as he was wont to do, but with un- 
usual fervency in his devotions ; and this was 
the last of his earthly services and utter- 
ances. He retired for the night apparently 
well, but was found on the floor in the morn- 
ing in an unconscious state from which he 
never ralli3d. He lingered some hours, but 
never spoke again. In a literal sense, and in 
fulfilment of his own unconsciously prophet- 
ic words, 

"He entered heaven with prayer." 




Another sacred poem which has been great- 
ly blessed to the good of individual souls for 
many years, and also to the edification of 
the church at large, and which, because of 
these facts, has won for its author world- 
wide and imperishable fame and affection, is 
the Rev. Hugh StowelPs sweet and tender 
lyric, beginning, 

"From every stormy wind that blows." 

It was originally contributed to a Euro- 
pean illustrated annual known as W interns 
Wreath, in 1827, from which it was copied 
into JJttelVs Religious Magazine (Philadel- 
phia) in 1828. The author republished it, 
with some slight revisions, in his ''Pleasures 
of Religion and Other Poems," in 1832. The 
hymn originally contained six stanzas, now 
generally appearing as follows : 

From every stormy wind that blows, 
From every swelling tide of woes, 



There is a calm, a sure retreat ; 
'Tis found beneath the mercy -seat. 

There is a place \Yhere Jesus sheds 
The oil of gladness on our heads; 
A place than all besides more sweet : 
It is the l^lood-bongbt mercy-seat. 

There is a scene where spirits blend. 

Where friend holds fellow.'^iip with friend:' 

Though sundered far. by faith they meet 
Around one connnon mercy-seat. 

Ah 1 v.hither could we flee for aid, 
AVhen tempted, desolate, dismayed; 
Or how the hosts of hell defeat, 
Had suffering saints no mercy-seat? 

There, there on eagle wings we soar, 
And sin and sense molest no more ; 
And heaven comes down our souls to greet, 
While glory crowns the mercy-seat. 

Oh I let my hand forget her skill, 
:My tongue be silent, cold and still : 
This throbl)ing heart forget to beat. 
If I forget the mercy-seat. 

1' L'XE— "Retreat." 

The }le\. Hugh Stowell, who wrote this 
hTiim, was a clergyman of high repute in the 
Church of Enghmd. He was born in Doug- 
his. Isle of ^lan, 1 December 3rd, 1799. His fa- 
ther was also a clergyman, rector of Ballaugh, 



near Ranisev. The son was educated at St. 
Ediiinnd's Hall, Oxford, j^Taduatinji; in 1822. 
He took Holy Orders in 1823, and, first as 
curate in Yorkshire, then as incumbent of 
St. Stephen's Church, Salford, he drew such 
throngs to hear his plain and earnest preach- 
ing that the people were moved to give liber- 
ally and cheerfully for the erection of an ele- 
gant structure known as Christ Church, Sal- 
ford; and therein thousands attended upon 
Jiis ministry with great delight and profit. 
In 1845 he was promoted to the position of 
Honorary Canon of Chester, and later was 
made Rural Dean of Salford. He was an 
Evangelical Churchman, but had no sympa- 
thy with High Church principles, and vigor- 
ously opposed the Tractarian or High Church 
movement. He finished his earthly course 
October 8th, 1865. 

Canon Stowell's death, according to the ac- 
count of it given bj the Rev. Thomas Alfred 
Stowell, his son, beautifully illustrated the 
sentiment expressed in his remarkable and 
popular hymn. We quote from Duffield's 
"Ensrlish Hvmns :" 

^'Mv father's last utterances abundanth 
showed his love of, and delight in, prayer. 
Almost every word was prayer, couched for 
the most part in the language of the Holy 



Scriptures or of the Book of Common Prayer; 
and these utterances were characterized by 
the deepest humility and most entire self -dis- 

'^Equally apparent was his simple and 
firm reliance on his Savior. To the question, 
*Is Jesus with you and precious to you?" the 
answer was, 'Yes, so that He is all in all to 

^'During his waking moments he frequently 
exclaimed, 'Very much peace,' and sometimes, 
'No fear,' 'Abundance of joy,' 'A very present 
help in time of trouble.' The morning of his 
death the only articulate words that we 
could catch, uttered two or three hours before 
his decease, were 'Amen! Amen!' 

'His watchword at the gates of death, 
He enters heaven with prayer.' '* 

Around the world he had taught, in the 
gtanzas of his l>eautiful hymn, the preciousness 
of the mercy-seat as the meeting-place of God 
with man, and there it was that, not only in 
his life but even m,ore abundantly in his 

"Heaven came down his soul to greet, 
While glory crowned the mercy-seat" 




Unique and matchless among all sacred 
poetry having importunity in prayer as its 
theme is Charles Wesley's lyrical drama, 
based on the story of Jacob wrestling with 
the angel, and beginning, 

"Come, O Thou Traveler unknown, 
Whom still I hold, but cannot see." 

Its illustrious author, whom many regard 
as the foi^most hymn-writer of the ages, was 
borti in the Epworth rectory, England, of 
which his father, the Rev. Samuel Wesley, 
w^as incumbent, in 1707. Susanna Wesley, 
his motlier, was one of the most intelligent 
and devoted of Christian women, and to the 
training she gave her sons the world will ever 
be largely indebted, since no other single 
factor figured more largely in the making of 
those remarkable men. 

Charles "V^'esley took his degree from Ox- 
ford in 1728, where his brother John, himself 
and a few others, for their devoted manner of 



life, were first nicknamed ^Tlie Holy Club," 
and later, because of their methodical divis- 
ion and use of their time were contempt- 
uously called '^Methodists." Tn 1735 he re- 
ceived Holy Orders from the Church of Eng- 
land, and immediately sailed with his brother 
John for Georgia, as a missionar}-. He soon 
returned, however, encountering a most ter- 
rific storm on the passage, from which the 
ship's company escaped almost as by miricle. 
Not until later (1738) did he experience that 
change of heart which made him ever after- 
ward a flame of fire for the spread of evan- 
gelical holiness. With this new experience 
also began that career of hymn-writing which 
made him the chief singer of Methodism. 
He cooperated with his brother John in his 
great work of reformation to the close of his 
long life, and died in peace in 1788. 

The hymn on "Wrestling Jacob" first ap- 
peared in ''Hymns and Sacred Poems," in 
1742, and contained fourteen six-line stanzas. 
The break in its uniformity by dividing it 
into several briefer hymns was made by the 
editors of the 171)7 edition. To divide it thus 
was to mar it, since its full beauty and force 
can neither be perceived nor appreciated ex- 
cept by considering it as an undivided whole. 
Its length, however, seems to have made divis- 




ion necessary in order better to adapt it to 
use in tbe cluircli hymnals. When printed in 
two or three successive hymns, as is quite 
coniDionly done, the connection and unity can 
be readily discerned, and still, to read or sing 
the hymn in part only is to miss much of its 
beauty and worth. 

The scriptural narrative on which the 
hymn is based is recorded in Genesis 32 : 24- 
3i, and must be known in order that tlio 
h^'nm may be understood and appreciated. 
The hymn is now seldom if ever printed in 
full in the church hymnals, two of its origi- 
nal stanzas being omitted wherever we have 
found it. Restored to its original complete- 
ness and order, it reads as follows: 

Come, O Tbou Traveler unkiiowu. 

Whom still I hold, but cannot see; 
My company before is gone, 

And I am left alone with Thee : 
With Thee all night I mean to stay, 
And wrestle till the break of day. 

I need not tell Thee who I am : 

^fy sin and misery declare ; 
Thyself hast called me by my name. 

Look on Thy hands and read it there ; 
But who, 1 ask Thee, who art ThouV 
Tel] me Thy name, and tell me now. 

In vain Thou strugglest to get free; 
I never will unloose my hold 




Art Thou the Man that died for me? 

The secret of Thy love unfold; 
Wrestling, I will not let Thee go, 
Till I Thy name. Thy nature know. 

Wilt Thou not yet to me reveal 

Thy new, unutterable name? 
Tell me, I still beseech Thee, tell; 

To know it now, resolved I am : 
Wrestling, I will not let Thee go, 
Till I Thy name, Thy nature know. 

'Tis all in vain to hold Thy tongue, 
Or touch the hollow of my thigh : 

Though every sinew be unstrung, 

Out of my arms Thou shalt not fly; 

Wrestling, I will not let Thee go. 

Till I Thy name. Thy nature know. 

What though my shrinking flesh complain, 
And murmur to contend so long? 

I rise superior to my pain : 

When I am weak, then am I strong! 

And when my all of strength shall fail, 

I shall with the God-man prevail. 

Yield to me now, for I am weak, 

But confident in self-despair ; 
Speak to my heart, in blessing speak ; 

Be conquered by my instant prayer : 
Speak, or Thou never hence shalt move, 
And tell me if Thy name be Love. 

'Tis Love ! 'tis Love ! Thou diedst for me ; 
I hear Thy whisper in my heart; 



The moriiing breaks, the shadows flee; 

Pure, universal Love Thou art: 
To me, to all Thy bowels move, 
Thy nature and Thy name is Love. 

My prayer hath power with God; the grace 

Unspeakable I now receive ; 
Through faith I see Thee face to face ; 

1 see Thee face to face and live ! 
In vain I have not wept and strove; 
Thy nature and Thy name is Love. 

I know Thee, Savior, who Thou art, 
Jesus, the feeble sinner's Friend : 

Nor wilt Thou with the night depart. 
But stay and love me to the end : 

Thy mercies never shall remove ; 

Thy nature and Thy name is Love, 

The Sun of Righteousness on me 

Ilath risen, with healing in his wings; 

Withered my nature's strength, from Thee 
My soul its life and succor brings ; 

My help is all laid up above: 

Thy nature and Thy name is Love. 

Contented now, upon my thigh 

I halt, till life's short journey end : 

All helplessness, all weakness, I 
On Thee alone for strength depend : 

Nor have I power from Thee to move; 

Thy nature and Thy name is Love. 

Lame as I am, I take the prey ; 
Hell, earth, and sin, with ease o'ercome; 



I leap for joy, pnrsne my way, 

And, as a boimding hart, fly home : 
Through all eternity to prove 
Thy nature and Thy name is Love. 

Tune — "Rockaway." 

ComiTienda^ions of this remarkable liviiin 


from the pens of able critics are numerous 
and forcibly expressed. A few- of them will 
snfifice to show the esteem in which it has 
ever been held. 

In the obituary of ('harles Wesley, pub- 
lished in the conference minutes, John Wes- 
ley says: ^'Ris least praise was his talent for 
poetry; although Dr. Watts did not scruple to 
say, that the single poem, 'Wrestling Jacob,' 
was worth all the verses he himself had writ- 

James Montgomery regarded the produce 
tion as "among Charles Wesley's highest 
achievements/' ''in which, with consumm'ate 
art, he has carried on the action of a lyrical 
drama : every turn in the conflict with the 
mA'sterious Being against whom he wrestles 
all night being marked with precision by the 
various language of the speaker, accompanied 
by intense, increasing interest, till the raptur- 
ous moment of discovery, when he prevails, 
and exclaims, 'I know Thee, Savior, who 
Thou art.' " 



Mr. Stevonson quotes the Rev. -John Kirk 
as writing' of ''its wonderful conciseness, 3'et 
perfect and finished picturing of the scene 
on the Transjordanic hills, beyond the deep 
defile where the Jabbok, as its name implies, 
wres.tles with the mountains through which 
it dipscends to the Jordan. The dramatic 
form, so singular in hvmnic composition, 
shadowing forth the action of the conversa- 
tion ; the great force of its thoroughly Eng- 
lish expression: its straightforward ease, 
without any mere straining at elegance; and 
the minuteness and beauty of its general ap- 
plication of the narrative, have won the com- 
mendation of all competent critics.'- 

The late Hugh Price Hughes regarded 
"Wrestling Jacob'' as one of Charles Wes- 
le^^'s greatest hymns, and Dean Stanley is 
said to have quoted it with remarkable effect 
at the unveilin<Tj of the Weslev memorial in 
Westminster Abbey. 

The narrative suggesting the hymn was not 
only a source of poetic but also 01 homiletic 
inspiration to Charles Wesley. It was one of 
his favorite pulpit themes. He preached 
from it before the hymn was published, as 
.appears from his Journal, and records at least 
six times \\'hen he preached from it after the 
hymn appeared, describing the remarkable ef- 



fects in some of the instances. These in- 
stances of preaching from the passage are 
all cited by Mr. Stevenson, in his ^'Methodist 
Hymn Book Illustrated/' who also adds: 
"To have heard the poet's sermon on this 
mighty wrestling, with all the play of fine 
fancy arranging the eminently evangelical 
topics in glowing colors before a crowded as- 
sembly, and then to have closed that dis- 
course with the singing of that grand hymn, 
m,ust have been a privilege of surpassing in- 
terest and delight." 

The historical associations of the hymn are 
numerous and thrilling. It was one of John 
Wesley's special favorites, and its use by him 
i«, short time after his brother's death, as re- 
lated bv Tverman in his "Life and Times of 
Wesley," is peculiarly pathetic. "Wesley had 
no disposition to tell the deep sorrows of his 
heart," savs Mr. T^erman; "but that he 
severely felt the departure of his brother, 
there can be no question. A fortnight after- 
wards^ when at Bolton, he attempted to give 
out, as his second hymn, the one beginning 
with the words, ^Come, O Thou Traveler un- 
known,' but when he came to the lines, — 

'My company before is gone, 

And I am left alone with Thee/ 

the bereaved old man sunk beneath emotion 



which was uncontrollable, burst into a flood 
of tears, sat down in the pulpit, and hid his 
face with his hands. The crowded congrega 
tion well knew the cause of his speechless ex- 
citement; singing ceased; and the chapel be- 
came a Bochim. At length, ^yesley recovered 
himself, rose again, and went through a ser- 
vice which was never forgotten by those who 
were present." 

This hymn, sung with seekers in revival 
services, has been remarkably blessed in help- 
ing struggling souls out of darkness into 
the marvelous light of God, and in leading 
true believers into full redemption. On many 
such occasions w^e have witnessed scenes that 
thrilled and awed all present, and must 
have occasioned great demonstrations of joy 
in heaven. One verse of it sung in the Spirit 
at such a time is worth a score of the shallow 
ditties too commonly characteristic of mod- 
ern revivalism. 

Not only in life but also in the ti\ving ex- 
perience of a dying hour has "Wrestling 
Jacob-' often proved a comforting, inspiring 
and helpful liyjnn, as the following instances, 
the first two condensed from Mr. Stevenson's 
narration will show : 

It is recorded of Solomon Burrall, of 
Tuckingmill. England, who for forty-five 



years '^^'as a member of the Methodist Soci- 
ety, and a useful worker in the Lord's vineyard, 
living in the uninteiTupted enjoyment of the 
perfect love of God,'' that the evening before 
he passed within the vail he summoned all 
his strength and sang the lines, — 

"Come, O Tbou Traveler unknown, 
Wliom still I bold, but cannot see! 
My company before is gone, 

And I am left alone Avitb Thee: 
With Tbee all nlgbt I mean to stay, 
And wrestle till tbe break of day." 

After this he spoke no more, except to de- 
clare his strong confidence in God, but soon 
passed to join the song of the redeemed in 

The Rev. Edward Hare, an able and useful 
English Methodist preacher, amid great physi- 
cal sufferings through which he passed short- 
ly before his death, called for the reading of 
''Wrestling Jacob," and directed particular 
attention to the following stanza: 

. "What tbougli my shrinking flesh complain, 
And murmur to contend so long? 
T rise superior to my pain : 

When I am weak, then am I strong ; 
And when my all of strength shall fail, 
1 shall with the God-man prevail." 



He then gave his djing testimony, and short- 
ly after entered into rest. 

^Irs. Dora Burdick, of Central New York, 
was awakened and thoroughlj^ converted un- 
der the labors of President Finnev some time 
dnring the fifties, and later, in a Methodist 
cluiroh of S.yracnse was led into '"the fulness 
of the blessing of the gospel of Christ." She 
was a deeph' spiritual woman, who spent 
much time alone with God in prayer. Her 
life is said to have been remarkable for the 
spirit and power she had in coming to the 
tlirone of grace. Tt seemed at times that 
three worlds were being moved as she 
wrestled with God, Jacob-like. She knew 
that God heard prayer, and her language 

"In vain Thou struggles! to get free, 
I I ncrcr \A'ill unloose my hold ; 
Art Thou the Man that died for me? 

The secret of Thy love unfold ; 
Wrestling, I Avill not let Thee go, 
Till I Thy name, Thy nature know." 

At length her health failed, and the time 
of her departure was at hand. Her theme re- 
mained the same, however, and, if there was 
no one present in her sick room who could 
sing ''AVrestling Jacob," she would often ask 



to hear the hymn read. It was like "angels' 
food'' to her hungry soul, and braced, 
strengthened and comforted her many a time 
as she passed through the valley of the death- 
shade. In faith and x>i*ayer she wrestled on 
amid her suffering until, "more than con- 
queror" over "the last enemy," she received 
an abundant entrance into the everlasting 
kingdom of her Redeemer. 



JOHN KEBLE's evening HYMN 

No English hymn ever written is better en- 
titled to a place in classic hyranody than 
John Keble's 

"Sun of my soul. Thou Savior dear." 

Nothing equal to it has ever been written ai 
an evening hynm. It combines the rarest 
beauty, sweetness, tenderness, love, trust and 
devotion with deepest spirituality and most 
fervent breathing after God. Its sentiment 
and spirit are all that could be desired, and 
in true poetic excellence it is unsurpassed. 

^'The Christian Year," of which it forms a 
part, ^'has gone through one hundred edi- 
tions," ^^the last of which placed the bulk of 
it before one hundred thousand readers;" but 
''this hymn is known, not to thousands, but 
to millions, and the music of its verse is 
familiar in every nook and corner of the Eng- 
lish-speaking world." 

It is a significant circumstance that the 
author of this universally popular lyric wTote 



it with no intention of its becomino- a hvmn. 
"The (,1iristian Year," in which it originally 
appeared, was a collection of "Thoughts in 
Verse for the Sundays and Holidays Through- 
out the Year." The title-page bore the motto, 
''In quietness and confidence shall be your 
strength." It was first published at Oxford, 
England, in 1827, in two thin 16mo volumes. 
It was put forth anonymously at first, the 
secret of its authorship being shared by a 
number of the poet's friends to whom he had 
submitted the manuscript, and from whom, 
little by little, it leaked out. The work, like 
Gray's elegy, was the product of long and 
painstaking labor, which was amply re- 
warded, however, by the remarkable popu- 
larity it won, the ninety-sixth edition having 
been revised by Keble's own hand, and, as al- 
I'eady suggested, the hundreth edition having 
since been given to the public. 

The hymn as it appears in the various 
hymnals is composed of the third, seventh, 
eighth and last three stanzas of the original 
poem, which contains fourteen stanzas. To 
wbom belongs the honor of having discov- 
ered the elements of so remarkable a hymn 
imbedded in the poem from which they were 
extracted is a problem not yet solved with 
absolute certainty. According to Dr. Ben- 



sou tlie Rev. Heni'v ^^nn Elliott, brother of 
(.'Jiarlotte Elliott, put a selectiou of four 
stanzas from Keble's poem into his "Psalms 
and Hymns," beg:inning' with "8un of my 
soul," etc.- and "'Other editors followed his ex- 
am])le, some of them using additional verses. 
This is the earliest appearance of the hymn, 
in anything like its present form, yet dis- 
covered ; and, unless some instance of its 
earlier ])ub]ication shall come to light. Mr. 
Elliott will be credited with the original dis- 
coverv of the hvmn ns imbedded in the larger 
poetical production from Avhich its various 
stanzas were collected" '"Studies of familiar 

As geueiallv i)ublished in the hvmnals of 
the present time the hymn appears in six 
stanzas, as follows: 

Sun of my soul, Thou Savior dear. 

It is not night if Thou be near : 

O njay no earth-born cloud arise 

To hide Thee from Thy servant's eyes ! 

When tlie soft dews of kindly sleep 
My wearied eyelids gently steep, 
He my last thouj^ht, how sweet to rest 
Forever on my Savior's breast 1 

Abide with me from morn till eve. 
For without Thee I cannot live; 



Abide with me when night is nigh, 
For without Thee I dare not die. 

If «ouje poor wnnd'ring child of Thine 
Have spurned, to-day, the voice divine. 
Now, Lord, the gracious work begin ; 
Let him no more lie down in sin. 

Watch by the sick ; enrich the poor 
With blessings from Thy bounteous store ; 
Be every mourner's sleep to-night. 
Like infant slumbers, pure and light. 

Come near and bless us when we wake, 
Ere through the world our way we take ; 
Till in the ocean of Thy love, 
We lose ourselves in heaven above. 

Tune — "Hursley." 

Two other stanzas are included in the 
hymn as sometimes published, constituting 
respectively, when included, stanzas one and 
five. We reproduce them herewith* as follows^ 
and leave the reader to judge for himself as 
to whether their exclusion improves or les- 
sens the beautv and worth of the hvmn : 

Wiien with dear friends sweet talk I hold, 
And all the flowers of life unfold, 
, Lot not my heart within me burn, 
Exeei^t in all I Thee discern. 

Thou Framer of the light and dark. 
Steer through tlie tempest Thine own arl: : 



Amid the howling wintry sea. 
We are in ix)rt if we have Thee. 

John Keble, the distinguished author of 
"The Christian Year," was born at Fairford, 
England, in 1792, his father being an honored 
clergyman of the Established Church. He 
was educated at Oxford, graduating in 1810, 
with double first class honors. He was ad- 
mitted to Orders in the Established Church 
in 1816. Twelve years later appeared his 
"Christian Year," embodying in its various 
poems for the Sundavs and holidavs of the 
year a number of what are now regarded as 
among the choicest hymns of the Church, 
"Sun of my soul" being chief est of them all. 
In 1831 he was elected professor of poetry at 
Oxford, which position he occupied for ten 
years. In 1833 he preached his fam,ous 
Assize Sermon at Oxford, on "National 
Apostasy," which Cardinal Newman, then 
within the English Church, subsequently de- 
clared gave rise to the High Church or Ox- 
ford Movement — a Movement which "trans- 
formed the Church of England," and of which 
"Keble, Newman .and Dr. Pusey were the 
leading spirits." 

The Oxford or "Tractarian Movement" 
final Iv landed Newman in the Roman Catho- 
lie Church, where his distinguished ability and 


hy:mxs that are immortal 

his devotion to the Church at last secured 
liim a place in the College of Cardinals. 
Keble, who remained a firm adherent of the 
Church of England, grieved greatly over New- 
man's secession. His attitude of attachment 
to Anglican traditions was expressed in his 
publication of ''The Christian Year," which 
also had the effect of confirming thousands 
of others in a similar attitude. He was a 
prolific writer of both prose and poetry for 
many years, and the various productions of 
his pen did much to influence and mold the 
national afi'airs of his time. 

After the death of his father in 1835 Keble 
married and became Vicar of Hursley, where, 
for the rest of his days he remained, content- 
edly "leading the life of a retired scholar 
and faithful country pastor." His church 
was always open for morning and evening 
prayers. ''Night and day he was unwearied 
in his ministrations to the sick, the poor, 
the afflicted. On many a dark evening he was 
seen, lantern in hand, wending his way to 
some distant cottage, with Avords of cheer. 
Though a m,an of fine Scholarly tastes and 
culture, he was so meek and unassuming, 
that the poor looked up to him as their best 

His death occurred at Bournemouth, in 




March, 186G. His wife survived him but six 
weeks, and both are buried, side by side, in 
Hui'slev church-vard. Imiuediatelv followiuij 
his death a movement was originated to pro- 
vide for him a suitable monument, which fi- 
nallv resulted in the foundins: of Keble Col- 
lege, Oxford, in 1870, "by subscription in 
memory of the Kev. John Keble. Vicar of 
Hurslev, sometime fellow and tutor of Oriel 
College, professor of poetry in the University, 
and author of *The Christian Year.' '' 

As sung to the tune "Hursley," Keble's 
'*Sun of mv soul" is a favorite hvmn in most 
Christian congregations of the English-speak- 
ing world. Its tender melody, its pleasing 
rhythm, its soft and mellow strains, together 
with the fervor and confidence of its breath- 
ing after God, adapt it to inspiring the faith, 
calming the agitations, assuaging the griefs 
and quickening and brightening the hopes of 
believers amid all the changeful vicissitudes 
of their earthly pilgrimage. As illustrative of 
its value in the foregoing directions, and also 
as a fitting conclusion to our consideration of 
its origin, character and history, we subjoin 
the following pathetic narrative, as related 
by the Kev. Dr. Tillett in "Our Hymns and 
Their Authors:'' 

"A vounji ladv of lovelv Christian charac- 




ler lay seriously ill iu her chamber. Her 
mother and loved ones were about her. The 
loom seemed to her to be growing dark. She 
asked them to raise the curtains and let in 
the light. But, alas, the curtains were al- 
leady raised, and it was broad-open daylight. 
It was the night of death that had come, 
and she knew it not. As she kept asking them 
to let in the light they had to tell her the 
nature of the darkness that was gathering 
about her. But she was not dismayed. With 
a sweet, quiet, plaintive voice she began sing- 
ing her favorite hvmn : 

*Suii of my vsoul, Tbou Savior dear, 
It is not night if Thou be near: 
O let no earth-born cloud arise 
To hide Thee from Thy servant's eyes.' 

'•The eves of all in the room suffused with 
tears as the sweet singer's tremulous voice 
continued : 

'When the soft dews of kindly sleep 
My wearied eyelids gently steep, 
Be my last thought, how sweet to rest 
For e^'er on my Savior's breast !' 

"She had often sung this hymn to the de- 
light of the home-circle, but now it seemed 
like the song of the dying swan, the sweetest 



she had ever sung. Her countenance lighted 
up witli a beauty and a radiance that came 
not from earth as she sang once more in 
feebler but more heavenly sti-ains : 

*Al»ide with me from morn till eve, 
For without Thee I cannot live : 
Abide with me when night is nigh, 
For without Thee I dare not die.' 

And with these fitting words the sweet voice 
was hushed in death which ceased not to 

'Till, in the ocean of God's love, 
She lost herself in heaven above.' " 



A woman's hymx on twilight devotion 

From tiDie immemorial the fields aud 
groves have been favorite resorts aud twi- 
light has been a favorite season with godly 
men and women for private meditation and 
l>rayer. There is much in both season and 
surroundings favorable to concentration up- 
on the object in view, and adapted to lifting 
the soul to loftiest contemplations of and 
most enrapturing communion with the Majes- 
ty on High. 

One of the finest and most popular little 
poems expressive of delight in twilight de- 
votion — a lyric which, though not intended 
as a hvmn, has won its wav into many of the 
church liymnals through first having won its 
way into the hearts of praying men and 
women — is one beginning, as usually printed, 

"I love to steal awLile away 
Frojii every cumberiug care." 

Mrs. Phoebe H. Brown, its author, was 
born in Canaan, New York, in 1783, and 



died in Henrv. Illinois, in 1861. She was 
;i devout Christian mother, in humble cir- 
cumstances, burdened with many a "cumber- 
ing care,'' and daily, toward nightfall, was 
accustomed to retire to a solitary place a 
little distant from her home for meditation 
and secret prayer. Observed in this daily re- 
tirement bv a wealthv neighbor who severelv 
criticised her. and even impugned her mo- 
tives, she was deeply wounded, and, to relieve 
lier burdened heart, went to her home and 
wrote the following:- 


(Ellington, Angiist, 1818.) 

Yes. when the toilsome daj* is gone, 

And night with banners gray. 
Steals silently the glades along 

In twilight's soft array, 

I love to steal awhile awaj- 

From little ones and care, 
And spend the hours of setting day 

In gratitude and prayer. 

I love to feast on Nature's scenes 


When Talis the evening dew. 
And dwell upon the silent themes, 
Forever rich and new. 



I love in solitude to shed 

The penitential tear, 
And all God's promises to plead 

Where none can see or hear. 

I love to think on mercies past. 

And future ones implore. 
And all my cares and sorrows cast 

On Him whom I adoje. 

I love to meditate on death ! 

When shall II is message come. 
With friendly smiles to steal my breath, 

And take an exile home? 

T love by faith to take a view 

Of blissful scenes in Heaven : 
The sight doth all my strength renew 

While here by storms I'm driven. 

I love this silent twilight hour 

Far better than the rest ; 
It is of all the twenty-four. 

The happiest and best. 

Thus, when life's toilsome day is o'er, 

jMay its departing ray 
Be calm as this impressive hour, 

And lead to endless day. 

Tune — "Arlington." 

Although written in 1818 the first adop- 
tion of these lines as a hymn appears to have 
been in Nettleton's "Village Hymns/^ in 



1825. 8trictl.y speaking the production is a 
poem and not a hymn. Its author wrote it 
merely to ease her troubled heart when stung 
by the groundless accusations already men- 
tioned, and with no thought of its ever going 
into print, to say nothing of its finding a per- 
manent place in the hymnody of the Church. 
Her own version of its origin, which has been 
quite widely circulated for years, will bear 
repetition in each new volume devoted to the 
storv of the Church's hvmns. 

^*It was in Ellington that I wrote the 'Twi- 
light Hymn,- " she says. "My baby daughter 
was in mv arms when I wrote it. I had been 
out on a visit to Dr. Hyde's and several were 
present. After tea one of my neighbors, who 
I had always felt was my superior in every 
way, came and sat down near me, chatting 
with another lady, without noticing me. Just 
a& I was rising to go home, she turned sud- 
denly Lipon me and said : 'Mrs. Brown, why do 
you come up at evening so near our house, 
and then go back without coming in? If you 
want anything, why don't you come in and 
ask for it? I could not think who it was, and 
sent my girl down to the garden to see; and 
she said it was you — that you came to the 
fence, but, seeing her, turned quickly away, 
muttering something to yourself.' 



"'There was soniething in her manner, more 
than her words, that grieved me. I went 
home, and that evening was left alone. After 
my children were all in bed, except my baby, 
.1 sat down in the kitchen, with m^ child in 
my arms, when the «rief in mv heart burst 
forth in a flood of tears. I took pen and 
l»aper, and gave vent to my o])pressed heart 
in what I called 'My Apology for my Twi- 
light Rambles, Addressed to a Lady.' It will 
be found in its original form in an old manu- 
script among my papers. In preparing it 
(some years after) for Xettleton's 'Village 
Hymns' some three or four verses were sup- 
pressed and a few expressions altered. In 
the original of what is now the first stanza 
was : 

'] love to steal awblle away 
From little ones and care,' 

[instead of "From cvcri/ cumhcring care'' in- 
iroduced later]. 

"This was strictly true. I had four little 
children; a small unfinished house; a sick 
sister in the only finished room ; and there 
was not a place above or below, where I 
could retire for devotion, without a liabilitv 
to be interrupted. There was no retired 
room, rock, or grove where I could go as in 
former days: but there was no dwelling be- 



tTveen our liousa and the one where that lady 
lived. Her warden extended a good way be- 
low her house, which stood on a beautiful 
eminence. The garden was highly cultivated, 
with fruits and flowers. I loved to smell the 
fragrance of both (though I could not see 
them). When I could do so without neglect- 
ins: niv dutv, I used to steal awav from all 
within doors, and, going out of our gate, 
stroll along under the elms that were planted 
for shade on each side of the road ; and 
as there was seldom any one passing that 
way after dark, I felt quite retired and alone 
with God. 

"I of^en walked quite up to that beautiful 
garden, and snufled the fragrance of the 
peach, the grape, and the rij)ening aT)ple, if 
not the flowers. I never saw anv one in the 
garden, and I felt that I could have the privi- 
lege of that walk and those few moments of 
uninterrupted communion with God without 
encroaching upon any one ; but, after once 
knowing that my steps were watched and 
made the subject of remark and censure, I 
never could enjoy it as I had done. I have 
often thought Satan had tried his best to pre- 
vent me from prayer by depriving me of a 
place to pray." 

One of those ''little ones'' referred to in 



the original form of the second stanza of this 
hymn became the Rev. S. R. Brown, D. D., 
and went as the first Christian missionary to 
Japan, possibly in answer to some of the 
many prayers breathed by that holy mother 
in her favorite place of twilight meditation. 
The hymn as now generally printed omits 
the first, third, sixth and eighth stanzas of 
the original, which improves it and renders 
it more suitable for use in the hymnals. 






lu the Tear 1707, when he was but thirtv- 
three years of age, Isaac Watts published a 
volume of "Hymns and Sacred Son^s," in- 
tended to be used as a church hymn-book, 
eyery hymn of which was his own composi- 
tion. The first edition of this work contained 
two hundred and ten hymns, supposed to 
liaye been mostly written before he was 
twenty-fiye years of age and while he was liy- 
ing in his father's home making preparation 
for beginning his public ministry. That these 
hymns were of a high order is evident from 
the general favor with which the book was at 
once received, as also from the fact that they 
were instrumental in producing a new epoch 
in church hymnody. 

By far the most popular of all the hymns 
in this collection, as also of all the hymns 
Watts ever composed, is the one beginning. 

"When I surrey the wondrous cross 
On which the Prince of glory died." 

In the first edition of "Hymns and Spiritual 



Songs," and also in the enlarged edition of 
1709, this hymn appeared under the title of 
"Crucifixion to the World by the Cross of 
Christ. Gal. G : 14." The Scripture passage 
on which it is based reads : "But God for-, 
bid that I should glory, save in the cross of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, b}' whom the world is 
crucified unto me, and 1 unto the world." 
No nobler hvnin has ever been written on the 
crucifixion than this. "In popularity and 
use, in its original or slightly altered form,'' 
says Dr. Julian, "this hymn is one of the four 
which stand at the head of all hvmns in the 
English language." 

Dr. Watts, who has had no peer as a hymn- 
writer, except it be Charles Wesley, was born 
in Southampton, England, in 1674. His fa- 
ther was a deacon in the Congregational 
Church. Young Watts received a fair edu- 
cation in the schools of his native town, after 
which certain well-to-do parties, because of 
his extraordinary brightness and promise, 
l)roposed to give him a university education. 
But English universities were then closed 
against Dissenters, and young Watts chose 
rather to suff'er affliction among his Dissent- 
ing brethren than to enjoy the advantages of 
an English university for a season. 

He entered the academy of Rev. Thomas 



Rowe at Stoke Newington, and in 1693 be- 
came a member of Mr. Rowe's church. On 
finishing his course he returned to the home 
of his father^ where the next two years were 
spent in special preparation for the ministry. 
In 1G9(> he became a tutor to Sir John Har- 
topp's children, in Newington, for a time, for 
whom he composed many of his hymns for 
children which afterward became so popular. 

He began preaching in 1698 at Mark Lane, 
near the Tower, in London. Not long after 
this he was seized with a physical infirmity 
v/hich left him practically an invalid for 
life. He continued to hold his pastorate, but 
was compelled to rely largely upon an as- 
sistant to perform the duties of his charge, 
giving himself chielly to the writing and pub- 
lishing' of livmns. He was never married. 

In 1713 he accepted an invitation to spend 
a little time at the house of Sir Thomas Abney, 
which was the occasion of Mr. Abnev's res- 
idence becoming his permanent home. Many 
\ears later he wrote the Countess of Hunt- 
incidon : ^'This dav thirty vears I came 
hither to the house of my good friend Sir 
Thomas Abney, intending to spend but one 
single week under his friendly roof, and I 
have extended mv visit to exactly the length 
of thirty vears." 



He published his metrical version of the 
Psalms of David in 1719. He also published 
many volumes in prose as well as in verse, 
his publications numbering fifty-two volumes 
in all. He died in peace in 1748. and w^as 
long held in precious memory ^'as a patriarch 
among the Dissenting clergy.'' 

''When I survey * * * * (>.^jj hardly 
be said to have had a special history," says 
Dr. Benson, ''apart from the others in Watts's 
epoch-making book. But there are several 
things that single out this hymn from among 
the rest. One is its extraordinarv excellence. 
It is not onlv the best of all Watts's hvmns, 
but it is placed by common consent among 
Ihe greatest hymns in the language. An- 
other is the wideness of its use. The greater 
part of Watts's hymns are left behind; this 
IkS sung in every branch of the English-speak- 
ing Church. 

^'eludged by the number of church hym- 
nals containing it, onlv one hvmn is used 
more widely — Toplady's 'Rock of Ages.' Its 
greatest glory, however, is the part it has 
had in the experience of Christians. Only 
God can know how many living eyes it has 
inspired with the ideal of the cross of renun- 
ciation, how many dying eyes it has com- 
forted with the vision of the cross of hope." 




The following is the complete original text 
of the hrmn : 

When I survey the wondrous cross 

Where the young Prince of glory died, 

My richest gain I count but loss, 
And pour contempt on all my pride. 

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast. 
Save in the death of Christ my God : 

Air the vain things that charm me most, 
I sacrifice them to His blood. 

See, from His head, His hands. His feet, 
Sorrow and love flow mingled down : 

Did e'er such love and sorrow meet? 
Or thorns compose so rich a crown? 

His dying crimson like a robe 

Spreads o'er His body on the tree : 

Then I am dead to all the globe. 
And air the globe is dead to me. 

Were the whole realm of nature mine. 
That were a present far too small; 

Love so amazing, so divine. 

Demands my soul, my life, my all. 

Tune — "Eucharist." 

Modern hymnals generally omit the fourth 
stanza, and that wisely in our opinion. The 
hymn is complete without it, and a super- 
fluous stanza always detracts from the beau- 
ty and worth of a hymn. Then the word 



^'globe" is unfortunately introduced for the 
Haive of rhynie, wbere icorld is the sense in- 
tended — not the world as a planet, but the 
morally corrupt order of things surrounding 
and continually appealing to us in the pres- 
ent state of being. This does violence to the 
Scripture ])assage which forms the basis of 
Ihe hymn. ^loreover, the simile contained in 
tlie first couplet seems far-fetched and un- 
natural, while the last couplet expresses as 
a sequence what does not naturally or nec- 
essarily follow from the fact the first couplet 
was intended to express. That Dr. Watts 
himself attached less importance to this 
stanza than to the rest of the hymn is evi- 
dent from the fact that, in the second edition 
of his ''Hymns and Songs," he placed it with- 
in brackets, as the stanza to be omitted if 
any ])art were to be left out in the singing 
of the hymn. 

''Our hymns have never had a critic so se- 
^ere as ^latthew Arnold,'' says Dr. Benson in 
"Studies of Familiar Hymns." "But on the 
last day of his life he attended the Sefton 
Park Presbyterian Church, Liverpool, of 
which Dr. Watson (Ian Maclaren) is pastor. 
The hymn, 'When I survey the wondrous 
cross/ was sung. Coming down, afterward, 
from his bedroom in his brother-in-law's house 



to luncheon, Mr. Arnold was heard softly re- 
peating to himself the opening lines. At 
luncheon he spoke of it as the greatest hymn 
in the language. Afterward he went out, and 
in ten minutes was dead. Does not such an 
incident (attested bv Dr. Watson) show the 
importance of literary merit in hymns? It 
recalls the appeal of John Wesley for hymns 
^such as would sooner provoke a critic to turn 
Christian than a Christian to turn critic' " 
This hymn should be sung in the spirit 
of that true, practical consecration which it 
breathes, or not sung at all. To sing, 

"Love so aniazinjr, so Divine. 

Demands my soul, my life, my all," 

and then go on living to one's self, withhold- 
ing tithes from the Lord's treasury, unmoved 
by the most powerful appeals for aid on be- 
half of the sick, the poor and the unfortunate 
-—or, if giving at all, giving stintedly and 
grudgingly — is naught but hollow mockery, a 
wicked profanation of divine worship. 

After the taking of a collection, in a 
church in London, the congregation led by the 
choir, sang this beautiful hymn of the cross. 
When the echo of the last word had died 
away the pastor slowly repeated the last 
line, — 



"Demands my soul, my life, my all," 

and added: "Well I am surprised to hear 
vou sine; that. Do you know that altogether 
you only put fifteen shillings into the bag 
this morning?" 

In a certain charit}' sermon the preacher 
dwelt on tlie inconsistency of singing this 
hymn without making the practise of one's 
life correspond with its sentiments of con- 
secration and self-sacrifice. A parsimonious 
old brother, nearly deaf, was much moved by 
the remarks and unconsciously talked out 
the struggle which was going on within his 
heart. The periodical which reported tiie oc- 
currence said that he ''sat under the pulpit 
with his ear-trumpet directed upward toward 
the preacher. - * * * At one time he 
said to himself — 'I'll give ten dollars;' again 
he said, 'I'll give fifteen.' At the close of the 
appeal he was very much moved and thought 
he would "five fiftv dollars. Now, the boxes 
were passed. As they moved along, his char- 
ity began to ooze out. He came down from 
fifty to twenty, to ten, to five, to zero. 'Yet,' 
e:aid he, 'this won't do — I'm in a bad fix. 
This covetousness will be my ruin.' 

"The boxes were getting nearer and near- 
er. The crisis w^as now upon him. What 



should he do? The box was now under his 
chin — all the congregation were looking. He 
had been holding his pocket-book in his hand 
during this soliloquy, which was half audible, 
though in his deafness he did not know that 
he was heard. In agony of the final moment 
he took his pocket-book and laid it in the box, 
saying to himself as he did it, — ^^ow squirm j 
old natar.' '' 

Self-crucifixion is the spirit of the hymn, 
and the old brother described in the forego- 
ing paragraph finally acted upon the princi- 
ple of self -crucifixion. Would that many 
others who need to achieve a similar victory 
v/ould go and do likewise. 



Wesley's hymn on the living sacrifice 

In Romans 12 : 1 Saint Paul, turning to a 
powerful application of the truths discussed 
in the preceding chapters of his epistle, 
savs: "I beseech you therefore, brethrei!, by 
the mercies of God, that ve present your bod- 
ies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto 
God, which is 3'our reasonable service.'' No 
sacred lyrist has ever more completely and 
concisely embodied the sentiment of this ex- 
hortation in verse than Charles Wesley, in 
the following famous consecration hjmn: 

Fatiier, Son, aud Holy Gbost, 
One in Tliree, and Three in One, 

As by the celestial host, 
Let Thy will on earth be done : 

Praise by all to Thee be given, 

Glorious Lord of earth and heaven! 

Vilest of the sinful race, 

liO ! I answer to Thy call : 
Meanest vessel of Thy grace. 

(Grace divinely free for all), 
Lo I I come to do Thy will, 
All Thy counsel to fulfil. 



If so poor a worm as I 

Maj^ to Thy great glory live. 
All my actions sanctity, 

All my words and thoughts receive; 
Claim me for Thy service, claim 
All I have and all I am. 

Take my soul and body's powers ; 

Take my memory, mind, and will ; 
All my goods, and all my hours ; 

All 1 know, and all I feel ; 
All I think, or speak, or do; 
Take my heart ; but make it new. 

Now, my God, Thine own I am, 
Xo\\ I give Thee back Thine own ; 

Freedom, friends, and health, and fame, 
Consecrate to Thee alone : 

Thine I live, thrice happy I, 

Happier still if Thine I die. 

Father, vSon, and Holy Ghost, 

One in Three, and Three in Que, 

As by the celestial host, 

Let Thy will on earth be done : 

Praise by all to Thee be given, 

(ilorlous Lord of earth and heaven' 


This appears as No. 155 in Charles Wes- 
ley's collection of ''Hvmns on the Lord's 
Supper," dated 1745. It is eminently appro- 
priate for use as a closing hymn on a sacra- 
mental occasion, and equally appropriate for 
use as a consecration hymn in revival ser- 


H y:mxs that are immortal 

vices, as also tor use in one's daily personal 
dedication of himself to God. He who daily 
lives in the spirit of this thoroughly evangeli- 
cal hymn will ever be "more than conqueror" 
over hell, earth and sin while life's battle 
rages, and will also be gloriously triumphant 
at last over the mortal foe. 

"Directed bv his own choice to the medical 
profession, Daniel M'Allum was subsequently 
called by the great Head of the Church to 
minister in holy things. In obedience to this 
call, he exercised his ministry among the 
[English] Wesleyans until (by a mysterious 
dispensation of Providence) he was removed, 
in the midst of his vears and his usefulness, 
from his labors on earth to his reward in hea- 
ven. * * * * When, in 1819, he asked 
the consent of the conference to be relieved 
from the law which prohibits the marriage of 
Xn'obationers, he was successful, and made the 
following entry in his Journal on the occa- 
sion : ^Vs it respects temporal things, my de- 
sire is to live honestly in the sight of all men ; 
and my prayer is that which Agur offered up» 
As it regards heavenly things, my wish is ex- 
pressed in the folloAving lines : 

*If so poor a worm as I 

May to Thy great glory live, 



Air my actions sanctify, 
Air my words and tlioughts receive.' " 

His last testimony was, Oly labors are done, 
but I build only on the merits of my Savior. 
I feel that Jesus died for me.' " 




If ''Nearer, my God, to Thee," is the 
most popular of all American hymns, the next 
most popular sacred lyric produced on Amer- 
ican soil is Dr. Ray Palmer's 

"My faith looks up to Thee, 
Thou Lamb of Cal,vary, 
Savior divine." 

In fact, some, like the venerable Dr. Cuyler, 
assign to the latter hymn the chief place in 
American hymnic literature. The Doctor de- 
clares it ''by far the most precious contribu- 
tion which American genius has yet made to 
the hymiiologv of the Christian Church." Per- 
haps if we distinguish properly between the 
words "precious" and ''popular" his judg- 
ment is a just one. The former hymn being 
chiefly theistic and the latter distinctively 
evangelical, the one has in it the elements of 
a wilder popularity and the other the ele- 
ments of more distinctively Christian value. 
"My faith looks up to Thee" was written 



ill 1830. and was entitled, "Self-Consecra- 
tion.'- Dr. Palmer was then a young man, but 
twenty-two years of age, and was teaching 
in a Toun": ladies' school in New York City. 
He had recently graduated from Yale Col- 
lege. His health was poor, and he was 
I>rosecuting his work under many discourage- 
ments. In this condition he came, not by 
chance, but providentially, upon a Oerman 
poetic description, in two stanzas only, of 
"A Suppliant Before the Cross,'' and was so 
deeply touched by the tender beauty of the 
lines that he at once translated them into 
English yerse. He then added four stanzas 
of his own composition, setting forth what 
the suppliant was saying, and those four 
stanzas make up the hymn as it now appears. 
When asked on one occasion for an account 
of the origin of the hymn, the aufhor made 
the following statement as to the mood in 
which it was composed : '^I gaye form to 
what T felt by writing, with little effort, these 
stanzas. I recollect I wrote them with yery 
tender emotion, and ended the last line with 
tears. I composed them with a deep con- 
sciousness of my own needs, without the 
slightest thought of writing for another eye, 
and least of all of writing a hymn for Chris- 
tian worship." After the hymn had attained its 



great popularity Dr. Palmer expressed it as 
his opinion that the production brought com- 
fort to the hearts of Christians ''chiefly be- 
cause it expresses in a simple way that act 
Avhich is the most central in all true Chris- 
tian life — the act of trust in the atoning 

The hymn originally appeared in the fol- 
lo>ying form : 

My faith looks up to Thee, 
Thou Lamb of Calvary, 

Savior divine. 
Now hear me while I pray, 
Take all my guilt away, 
O let me from this day 

Be wholly Thine ! 

May Thy rich grace impart 
Strength to my fainting heart. 

My zeal inspire! 
As Thou hast died for me, 
O may my love to Thee 
Pure, warm and changeless be, 

A living fire! 

While life's dark maze I tread, 
And griefs around me spread, 

Be Thou my guide; 
Bid darkness turn to day, 
Wipe sorrow's tears away, 
Nor let me ever stray 

From Thee aside. 




"\"\'lien ends life's transient dream, 
Wlien death's cold, sullen stream 

Sljall o'er me roll : 
Blest Savior, tben. in love. 
Fear and distrust remove ; 
O bear me safe above. 

A ransomed soul I 

Tune — "Olivet."' 

About two years iifter the hymn was writ- 
teu Dr. Lowell Masou met the author ou one 
of the streets of Boston. After they had ex- 
changed greetings the famous composer in- 
formed Mr. T^ilmer that he and Dr. Hastings 
were compiling a church music-book, and re- 
quested a contribution for its pages. Mr. 
Palmer remembered the verses he had written 
two years before, drew them from his pocket, 
made a co]»y of them and submitted it for 
approval. Dr. Mason, after he had taken time 
to examine them was peculiarly impressed 
by the verses, and predicted that they would 
yet be sung around the world. He proceeded 
at once to set them to appropriate music, com- 
posing the tune "Olivet'' as the most suitable 
means of rendering them in song. Assuredly 
there was a divine providence in the wedding 
of this hymn and tune; "and what Ood hath 
joined together let no man put asunder." 

The next time Dr. Mason met Mr. Pahner 
after receiving the hymn he said to liim : 'Mr. 



Palraer. \o?j may live many years and do 
many good things, but I think you will be 
best known to posterity as the author of ^My 
faith looks up to Thee.' " That was a true 
l)rophecT, although Mr. Palmer wrote many 
(/ther hvmns of rare merit, and himself re- 

"Jesus, these eyes have never seen 
That radiant form of Thine," 

as his best production. 

After filling pastorates acceptably in Bath, 
Maine, and Albany, New York, he was made 
Corresj)onding Secretary of the Congrega- 
tional Union in 1865. He continued in this 
j)Osition until 1878, when ill health comjjelled 
him to resign. He then settled in Newark, 
New Jersey, where he finished his course in 
1887. It is said that on the day before his 
death he was heard faintly murmuring to 
himself the lines, 

"When death these mortal eyes shall seal. 
And still this throbbing heart, 
The rending veil shall Thee reveal 
All glorious as Thou art." 

In his '^Recollections of a Long Life" Dr. 
Cuyler says: ''Dr. Palmer preached several 
times in my Brooklyn pulpit. He was once 
with us on a sacramental Sabbath. While 



the deacons were passing the sacred elements 
among the congregation the dear old man 
broke out in a tremulous' voice and sang his 
own heavenly lines : 

*My faith looks up to Thee, 
Thou Lamb of Calvary, 
Savior divine.' 

It was like listening to a rehearsal for the 
heavenly cboir, and the whole assembly was 
most deeply moved." 

While not as old as many of the hymns in 
general use among English-speaking Chris- 
tians, "'My faith looks up to Thee" has won 
for itself as imperishable a place in the hearts 
of true believers as any of those which have 
been longer on trial. It is hallowed by asso- 
ciations most touching and sacred, and by 
a history which is full of interest and signif- 
icance. Perhaps there is no Christian home 
in English-speaking Christendom where its 
plaintive strains have not inspired faith, 
quickened hope, and imparted consolation in 
hours of distracting trouble, bewildering 
temjjtation and heart-crushing sorrow. To 
how many it has brought the ministry of 
light, peace and comfort as they passed 
^'through the valley of the shadow of death," 
God only knows. Such a hymn is a boon of 
priceless worth. 



"In connection with the spiritual use of 
the hymn," says Colonel Smith, '"this story 
though old, is still interesting. Mrs. Layath 
Baraket, a natiye of Syria, who was edu- 
cated in the mission schools at Beirut, went 
as a teacher to Egypt, where she made much 
use of ^^ly faith looks up to Thee.' By the 
insurrection of Arabi Pasha in 1882, she was 
driven out of tliat country, and with her hus- 
band and child came to tlie United States. 
*Her history is a strange illustration of God's 
providential care, as they were without any 
friends in Philadelphia, where they landed.' 
During her visit in America Mrs. Baraket 
made many public addresses and attracted 
large audiences. Her talks on missionary ef- 
forts in Syria and Egypt were rich in prac- 
tical and interesting incidents and illustra- 
tions. She had been permitted to see her 
whole family, who were Maronites of Mount 
Lebanon, converted to Christianity. Her 
mother, at the age of sixty-two, was taught 
to sing an Arabic translation of Dr. Palmer's 
hymn; and in 1884, when she received the 
news that her daughter had reached the Uni- 
ted States in safety and was kindly received, 
she responded by simply repeating the words 
of this hymn. 

"In the evening before one of the terrible 



battles of the Wilderness during the Civil 
\A'ar, eic,ht voiinff men who were warmly at- 
tached to each other bv the ties of Christian 


comradeship, held a praver-meeting. A great 
battle was inimiuent, and it seemed improb- 
able that all of them would survive the con- 
flict. Before separating for the night, they 
wrote an exj^ression of their feelings on a 
sheet of paper. It was, in fact, a death 
pledge; and was to remain as an evidence of 
their Christian faith should they fall in bat- 
tle. The words to which all the young men 
subscribed their names were those of the 

'My faitb looks up to Thee.' 

The battle went hard with the regiment to 
which these eight soldiers of the Cross and 
Union belonged, and seven of them fell before 
the blazing discharge of shot and shell of the 

In the composition of this hymn Dr. Palm- 
er wrote his own heart's experience and ex- 
pressed his faith and hope for the future. In 
doing this he wrote the experience and ex- 
pressed the faith and hope of all true Chris- 
tians. This is what gives vitality and popu- 
larity to the hymn and will cause it to sing 
its way on to latest generations. 



MISS havergal's great consecration 


Miss Frances Ridley Havergal was evident- 
ly designed by Providence for extraordinary 
jichievements in the interests of Christ's 
Church and Ivingdom, and that particularly 
in the realm of holy song. The daughter of 
a devout English clergyman, the Rev. Wil- 
iam Henry Havergal, who was himself the 
author of much valuable church music, in- 
cluding such tunes as ''Evan," ''Zoan," and 
'•Patmos,'' and baptized by another hymn- 
^\ riter of distinction, the Rev. John Cawood, 
author of ''Hark ! what mean those holy 
voices?" it will be seen that she was reared 
amid the most favorable religious surround- 
ings and "in an atmosphere of hymns." 

She was a precocious child, too, and the 
story of her early development, though well 
authenticated, reads quite like fiction. "A 
study of her short life reminds us that she 
could read at three ; that she wrote verses at 
seven with remarkable fluency; that in her 



girlhood days she knew the whole of the New 
Testament, the Psalms, and Isaiah by heart, 
and afterward memorized the Minor Proph- 
ets: that when fourteen years old she had a 
f>lowiDo: spiritual enthusiasm ; that she early 
acquired the French, German, Italian, Latin, 
Greek and Hebrew languages; that she daily 
read the Old and New Testaments in the orig- 
inal ; that she could play through Handel and 
much of Mendelssohn and Beethoven without 
notes ; that she had a sweet singing voice and 
was a reputable composer; and that, in her 
school da vs. though ha vine; a frail constitu- 
tion, she climbed the Swiss mountains that 
she might revel in the scene of perpetual 

Such in early years was she whom the Lord, 
by providential discipline and through the be- 
stowal of extraordinary grace, prepared for 
that exalted ministry in the realm of hal- 


lowed song which reached its culmination in 
the composition of the Consecration Hymn be- 

"Take my life, and let it be 
Consecrated, Lord, to Tliee." 

The hymn was written as the expression of 
her own entire and irrevocable devotement of 
herself to God's service, and was born of 



an inspiration which came to its author 
on her reception of the sanctifying fulness of 
the Holy Spirit. She had been awakened to 
an unquenchable longing for ''unreached at- 
tainments" in the divine life through the read- 
ing of a little book on the subject which came 
into her hands in 1873. Yielding herself up 
fully to God she soon received ''the blessing" 
and entered upon a new era in her Christian 
history. Previously inclined to depression of 
spirits, such as drove Cowper to madness, she 
now lived in a realm of perennial sunshine, 
and shed the light of holy gladness on all 
around her. 

"It was on Advent Sunday, December 2nd. 
1873," she says in a letter to her sister, "I 
first saw clear 1}^ the blessedness of true con- 
secration. I saw it as a flash of electric 
light, and what you sec, you can never unsee. 
There must be full surrender before there can 
be full blessedness. God admits you by the 
one into the other." That "full surrender" 
which is tlie onlv and the sure wav into ''full 
blessedness" Miss Havergal had most definite- 
ly and consciously reached ; and, vrhat it then 
meant to her and must ever mean to all who 
intelligently make it, she has expressed with 
remarkable clearness and great poetic beauty 
in the hymn which follows : 




Take my life, and let it be 
Consef-ratecl, Lord, to Thee. 
Take my moments and my days ; 
Let tliem flow in endless praise. 

Take my bands, and let tbem move 
At the impulse of Tby love. 
Take my feet, and let tbem be 
Swift and beautiful for Tbee. 

Take my voice, and let me sing, 
Always, only, for my King. 
Take my lips, and let tbem be 
Filled ^^•itb messages from Thee 

Take my silver and my gold ; 
Not a mite would I withhold. 
Take my intellect, and use 
Every power as Thou shalt choose. 

Take my will, and make it Thine ; 
It shall be no longer mine. 
Take my heart, it is Thine own ; 
It shall be Thy royal throne. 

Take my love; my Lord, I pour 
At Thy feet its treasure-store. 
Take myself, and I will be 
Ever, only, all for Thee. 

Tune — "Hendon" or "Patmos." 

^[iss navergal wrote this hymn February 
4th, 1S74, and has herself given us an account 
of its origin in the following words: ^Ter- 



haps you will be interested to know the ori- 
gin of the Consecration Hvmn, 'Take Mv 
Life.' I went for a little visit of five da3's to 
the Arely House. There were ten persons in 
the house, some unconverted and long prayed 
for, sonije converted, but not rejoicing Chris- 
tians. He gave me the prayer, ^Lord, give me 
all in this house I' And He just did! Before I 
left the house every one had got a blessing. 
The last night of my visit I was too happy 
to sleep, and passed most of the night in 
praise and renewal of my own consecration, 
and these little couplets formed themselves 
and chimed in mv heart one after another till 
thev finished with, "Ever, onlv, ALL for 

The hvmn has been translated into several 
languages, in all of which it is accomplishing 
a blessed ministrv. 

The life of the talented and holy woman 
who wrote this Consecration Hym;n was not 
protracted long on earth. She first saw light 
in Astlev rectorv, December 14th, 1836, and 
closed her eyes to earthly scenes June 3rd, 
1870. Her last days were spent at Caswell 
Bay, Swansea, South Wales, whither she had 
gone in quest of renewed strength. On learn- 
that her end was very near she rejoiced at the 
tidings as "too good to be true." She died 



in peace and holy triumph, and was buried 
in the Astlev churchyard beside her father 
and near tiie home of her early years. On 
lier tombstone appears, caryed by her own 
direction, her fayorite text of scripture — 

"The blood of Jesus Christ his Son 
cleanseth us from all six/' 






No Iiymn in the English tongne more cor- 
rectly indicates the way in which a penitent 
sinner may find pardon or is better adapted 
to leading him to the very heart of the Savior, 
than Charlotte Elliott's 

"Just as I am without one plea, 
But tiiat Tlay blood was shed for me." 

It is probable that no other hymn has ever 
been instrumental in leading so many pen- 
itents through the successive steps of self-re- 
nunciation, self-surrender, and appropriating 
faith in Christ, out into ''the measureless 
depths of His love" as this. Its very great 
popularity and its translation into nearly all 
languages of the civilized world indicate that, 
judged by the measure of its use and influ- 
ence, it deserves to be classed among the fore- 
most hymns of the Christian Church. 

Miss Elliott, the author of the hymn, was 
born in Clapham, England, March 18, 1789. 
She was reared in the Established Church, 



and grew to womanhood amid advantages of 
the most favorable kind. Bred in a home not 
onlv of piety, but of culture and refinement, 
where poetr^^ and music continually exercised 
their elevating, inspiring and ennobling in- 
fluence upon her, she was early molded, both 
mentally and spiritually, for the invaluable 
service she rendered to the Church of God as 
a hymn-writer in her maturer years. 

When about thirtj-two years of age she 
suffered from a serious illness which left her 
an invalid for life. This appears to have 
been another of the peculiar providences by 
which she was prepared for that ministry of 
song through which she was made a blessing 
to the Church and to the world for all genera- 
tions. Songs like hers seldom emanate from 
any but hearts which have been broken by 
sorrow or chastened and mellowed by afflic- 

In 1832 Miss Elliott first became acquaint- 
ed with Dr. Caesar Malan, a devout and dis- 
tinguished Swiss preacher, on the occasion of 
a visit which he made at her father's home in 
('lapham. He soon recognized her superior 
talents and possibilities, and appreciated 
them; and it is said to have been chiefly 
through him that she was led to abandon sec- 
ular pursuits and devote her talents wholly 



to the cause of Christ. Dr. Malan was also 
instrumental in putting that spiritual im- 
press upon her life and character which has 
so beautifully expressed itself in the hymns 
she wrote, the number of which considerably 
exceeds one hundred. 

The hymn by which, more than by any or 
all others, she has immortalized herself is the 
one now under consideration, the original of 
which is as follows: 

Just as I am, without one plea, 
But that Tliy blood was sbed for me. 
And that Thou bidd'st me come to Thee, 
O Lamb of God, I come! 

Just as I am, and waiting not 
To rid my soul of one dark blot. 
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot, 
O Lamb of God, I come ! 

Just as I am, though tossed about, 
With many a conflict, many a doubt, 
Fightings and fears within, without. 
O Lamb of God, I come I 

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind, 
Sight, riches, healing of the mind, 
Yea, all I need in Thee to find, 
O Lamb of God. I come I 

Just as I am. Thou wilt receive, 
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve, 



Because Thy promise I believe, 
O Lamb of God, I come! 

Just as I am (Tliy love unknown 
lias broken every barrier down), 
Now to be Tbiue, yea. Thine alone, 
O Lamb of (Jod, I come ! 

Just as I am, of that free love 
The breadth, length, depth and height to prove, 
Here for a season, then above. 
O Lamb of God, I come ! 

Tune — "Woodwoeth." 

The last of the foregoing stanzas is gen- 
erally omitted in the hymnals. There is some 
ditference of opinion as to whether its omis- 
sion is wise or otherwise. Its poetry does 
not flow quite as smoothly as that of the other 
stanzas, but the sentiment is fine and forms 
a final climax of thought which is both nat- 
ural and scriptural, and without which the 
L'ymn is less complete than it is with the 
stanza retained. 

This beautiful Christian lyric has had a 
marvelous history of association with the 
conversion of sinners. Said the Rev. H. V. 
Elliott, brother of Charlotte, "In the course 
of a long ministry I hope I have been per- 
mitted to see some fruit of my labors, but I 
feel far more has been done by a single hymn 



of my sister's." He referred to "Just as I 

There are before the author as he writes a 
considerable number of published instances of 
the influence of this hymn upon the hearts 
and lives of saints and sinners. From among 
them the following are presented in con- 
densed form : 

On one occasion the Epworth League of the 
Lenox Road church, Brooklyn, at its exer- 
cises previous to the Sunday evening preach- 
ing service, sang, "Just as I Am." and then 
at tlie regular hour of public service the same 
hymn was announced and sung again. It 
being a sultry evening the windows of the 
church were open during the service. A few 
doors away lived a young lawyer, who, lying 
in his room with his windows raised, could 
distinctly hear the words of the hymn. He 
had become hardened and skeptical regarding 
religious matters. All gracious influences 
had been resisted, and he had come to regard 
himself as too far gone for reform;ation. But 
"Just as I Am," sung by the two different 
congregations the same evening, produced a 
deep impression upon his mind, and led him 
to a change of heart. The next day he sent 
for the pastor of the church and related to 
him with deep and strong emotion the cir- 



cumstances of his conversion. Fortunate in- 
deed was it for him that he experienced this 
change when he did, since failing health soon 
compelled him to go South for a change of 
climate, where death claim^ed him as its vic- 
tim a few months later. 

The Rev. Dr. ]McCook, during his pastorate 
in St. Louis, was sent for on one occasion to 
visit a young woman who was slowly dying 
of consumption. She had been attending a 
normal school, and from one of her teachers 
had imbibed infidel sentiments. Her keen in- 
tellect quickly warded off every effort to in- 
duce her to acknowledge the claims of the 
gospel. After the man of God had exhausted 
all his arguments she still remained unshaken 
in her skepticism, while he was perplexed to 
know w^hat more he could do toward secur- 
ing the conversion of the dying girl. So ad- 
verse was she to hearing more on the subject 
of religion that she turned her face to the 
wall and declined giving him further atten- 
tion. After a time the minister said to her, 
*Xucy, I have not come to argue with you 
another word, but before leaving you to meet 
the issues of eternity I wish to recite a hymn." 
With much earnestness and emphasis he then 

"Just as I am, without one plea," 


and kindly bade her adien. She gave him no 
recognition and no response. He sadly left 
her, and went his way debating whether, after 
such a determined refusal of all his tender 
efforts to do her good, it would be best to 
visit her again. Realizing the gravity of her 
situation, however, he decided to make one 
more effort to reach her obdurate heart. Call- 
ing again he took his seat by her side, where- 
upon she slowly turned toward her visitor. 
Unwonted luster beamed from her sunken 
eyes as she placed her emaciated hand in his 
and slowly, but with deep emotion, said : 

"Just as I am, without one plea, 
But that Thy blood was shed for me. 
And that Thou bidd'st me come to Thee, 
O Lamb of God, I come, I come !" 

and then added: '0 Sir, Fvc come! I've 
comeF' The hymn had done what argument 
and persuasion had failed to do — determined 
the dying girl to tlie choice of Jesus Christ, 
and of eternal life in Him. The end. which 
came not long afterward, was one of such 
peace as Christ alone can give. 

In the year 1800 The Examiner published 
the following interesting account : ''A few 
weeks ago a little boy came to one of our 
city missionaries, and holding up a dirty, 



worn-ont bit of printed paper, said : Tlease 
sir, father sent me to get a clean paper like 
that.' Taking it from his hand, the mission- 
ary unfolded it, and found that it was a page 
containing that precious lyrical epitome of the 
gospel, of which the first stanza is as follows: 

'Just as I am. without ODe plea, 
But that Thy blood was shed for me, 
And that Thou bidcVst me come to Thee, 
O Lamb of God, I come, I comel' 

"The missionary looked down with interest 
into the face earnestly upturned to him, and 
asked the little boy where he got it, and why 
he wanted a clean one. 'We found it, sir,' 
said he, 'in sister's pocket, after she died, and 
she used to sino^ it all the time while she was 
sick; and she loyed it so much that father 
wanted to get a clean one, and put it in a 
frame to hang up. Won't you please to giVe 
us a clean one, sir?' 

''This little page, with a single hymn on it, 
had been cast upon the air, like a fallen leaf, 
by Christian hands, humbly hoping to do 
some possible good. In some little mission 
Sabbath-school, probably, this poor girl had 
thoughtlessly receiyed it, afterward to find 
it, we may hope, the gospel of her salyation." 
Bishop Mcllyaine. of Ohio, was so charmed 



with ^liss Elliott's lyrical masterpiece that 
he had it printed on cards for use in one of 
his conventions, and said : ''I have adopted 
it for all time to come, as long as I shall be 
here, as my hymn, always to be sung on such 
occasions, and always to the same tune. * * 
* * That hvmn contains my religion, mv 
theology, my hope. It has been my ministry 
to preach just what it contains. When I am 
gone I wish to be remembered in association 
with that hymn. I wish that my ministry 
may be associated with 

'Just as I am, without oue plea, 
But that Thy blood was shed for me, 
And that Thou bidd'st me come to Thee, 
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!' 

Dying some years later in Florence, Italy, 
he sent last, loving messages to his Ohio 
friends, and then said to those about him: 
''Read to me three hvmns — 'Just as I am ' 
'Jesus, Lover of my Soul,' and 'Rock of 
Ages.' " The hymns were read; and, "filled 
with joy and peace,*' the good man closed his 
eyes on earth to open them in heaven. 




Toplady's ^'Rock of xVges'^ contends stout- 
ly with Charles Wesley's "Jesus, Lover of my 
Soul" for the most popular recognition of 
any hymn in the English language. It is 
almost universally used. It has even been 
adopted by the Roman Catholics, in England. 
A London paper, Sunday at Home, asked 
8,500 of its readers to name twenty of the 
greatest hymns, and 3,215 placed "Rock of 
Ages" first. Nor is its influence restricted to 
English-speaking countries, since the late 
Hon. W. E. Gladstone translated it into 
Latin, Greek and Italian. 

"Rock of Ages" is certainly one of the 
brightest gems in the hymnody of the Church, 
and has become so inwrought with the deep- 
est and holiest experiences of Anglo-Saxon 
Christianity as have few things else outside 
the word of God. 

In palace and cottage alike it has min- 
istered its inspiration and consolation to the 
tempted, the disconsolate, the sick and the 



dying. The late Prince Consort, ''Albert the 
Good," quoted it just before passing within 
the vail, as expressing his own experience of 
faith and hope, and as affording him most 
precious consolation while earthly things 
were dissolving from his view forever. In 
manv a humble cot and cabin, as well as in 
the palace of the prince, its sublime and ten- 
der strains have been a divine benediction to 
the dying, inspiring faith, enkindling hope, 
assuaging grief and quelling fear; while to 
almost innumerable thousands it has been as 
a sovereign balm for the wounded spirit in 
times of deep distress and amid various dis- 
tracting and bewildering experiences. It is 
a hymn that will live forever. 

Augustus Montague Toplady, the author of 
''Rock of Ages,'- was born at Farnham, Sur- 
rey, England, in 1740. His father fought and 
fell in the battle of Carthagena, and Augustus 
was thereafter reared bv his devout and holv 
mother. He was educated at Westminster 
School, and at Trinity College, Dublin. He 
was converted at the age of sixteen, in a barn, 
at an obscure place called Codymain, Ireland, 
whither he had gone to hear an illiterate lay- 
man preach. The impression made upon him 
by the sermon was most unexpected, and so 
powerful that it led to his immediate conver- 



sion. He has recorded the following account 
of the event: 

''That sweet text, 'Ye who sometime were 
afar off are made nigh hy the blood of Christ/ 
was particularly delightful and refreshing to 
my soul. It was from that passage that Mr. 
Morris preached on the memorable evening of 
my effectual call by the grace of God. Un- 
der tlie ministry of that dear messenger, 
under that sermon, I was, I trust, brought 
nigli by the blood of Christ, in August, 1756. 

"Strange that I, who had been so long un- 
der the means of grace in England, should be 
brought nigh to God in an obscure part of Ire- 
land, amidst a handful of God's people met 
together in a barn, and under the ministry of 
one who could scarcely spell his name. The 
excellency of such power must be of God, and 
cannot be of men." 

Toplady became a minister of the Estab- 
lished Church, and, while studying for the 
ministry, was made a high Calvinist by at- 
tending Dr. Manton s lectures on the Seven- 
teenth Chapter of John. When the discus- 
sion over Calvinism arose in connection with 
the Wesleyan reformation he naturally took 
sides with the Calvinists, and preached and 
wrote in opposition to the Wesleys and their 
views with most intemperate zeal. It is much 



to be regretted that one of so lofty a spirit, 
and of a character in all other respects so ex- 
emplary, should have been betrayed into such 
fierce vituperation as characterizes his contro- 
versial writings. His intemperate language 
and his intolerance in controversv are the 
only blemishes on his exalted character. 

Tn 1775 Toplady's health began to fail. The 
fiery ardor with which he applied himself to 
the duties of his calling was more than the 
earthern vessel could endure. His physician 
sent him to London. A new field opened to 
him here, in the pastorate of the French Cal- 
vinistic Church, the duties of which he as- 
sumed and performed with great faithfulness. 
Some time during the year of his settlement 
in London he produced that sublime hymn, 
which, had he never achieved anything else 
of distinction, would have immortalized his 

The hymn first apeared in the Gospel Maga- 
zine, a periodical of which Toplady was then 
editor. He published an article on "The Na- 
tional Debt," in which, along with other 
things, he adverted to the debt of sin. dis- 
coursing on the multitudinous sins of hu- 
manity, and, by numerical calculations, ex- 
hibited the enormity of the indebtedness of 
the redeemed to Christ for having cancelled 




their sins, thereby setting forth the trans- 
cendent love of God and the measureless value 
of Christ's atonement. Exalted to the realm 
of such insi)iring contemplations and of 
visions thus glowing and ecstatic, he con- 
cluded with this matchless "hvmn of the 
cross :" 

Rock of ages, cleft for me, 

Let me liido myself in Tbee ; 

Let the water and the blood. 

From Thy riven side which flowed, 

Be of sin the double cure, 

Cleanse me from its guilt and power. 

Not the labor of my hands 
Can fulfil' Thy law's demands; 
Could my zeal no respite know, 
Could my tears forever flow, 
All for sin could not atone. 
Thou must save, and Thou alone. 

Nothing in my hand I bring. 
Simply to Thy cross I cling; 
Naked, come to Thee for dress", 
Helpless, look to Thee for grace; 
L'oul, I to the fountain fly ; 
Wash me. Savior, or I die. 

Whilst I draw this fleeting breath, 
When my eyestrings break in death ; 
When I soar through tracts unknown. 
See Thee on Thy judgment throne. 



Rock of ages, cleft for me, 
Let me bide myself iu tliee. 

Tune — "Toplady." 

The foregoing is the h^nin in its original 
form, from which it will be readily seen that 
numerous and important changes have been 
made in giving it the form in which it is now 
generally used. 

Neither in the article in connection with 
which the hymn was first given to the public, 
nor in Toplady's hymn-book published the 
same year, is his authorship of the hymn di- 
rectlv given. This fact led to some mistaken 
views as to its authorship in the earlier pe- 
riod of its historv. ''In a letter in the Wes- 
Icjjan Magazine, as late as 1S32," says Dr. 
Til left, "Richard Watson erroneously attri- 
butes it to Charles Wesley. The early Meth- 
odists would have welcomed proof that Wes- 
ley was the author; for the nwst unpleasant 
controversv that John Weslev was ever drawn 
into was that which he had with the author 
of this hymn over doctrinal points, Toplady 
being a pronounced Calvinisf 

It adds to the interest and impressiveness 
of the hymn to know that it was written near 
the close of Toplady's life, when he was sen- 
sible that the day of his dissolution was draw- 
ing near, and when his feet were already 



standing on Pisgah's height, from which vis- 
ions of celestial glory were vouchsafed to his 
redeemed spirit. About two years after 
the first appearance of the hymn its author, 
at the age of thirty-eight, came to the time 
of his departure from earth, a victim of 
consumption ; and, in that supremely try- 
ing hour he realized in blessed fulfilment the 
prayer breathed in the last stanza of his im- 
mortal hvmn. 

^'Rock of Ages" was originally entitled, ^^\ 
Living and Dying Prayer for the Holiest Be- 
lievers in the World." Although the hymn 
was written bv one of John Weslev's bitter- 
est opponents and given a title which was 
itself a sneer at the Wesleyan doctrine of 
perfection, Methodists everywhere have adopt- 
ed it as orthodox, and in a high degree spirit- 
ually helpful. Comparatively few of them 
know, or ever stop to consider if they do 
know, that it had its origin in the midst of 
the heated controversv between the Calvinists 
and Arminians which was incidental to the 
rise of ^lethodism, and was perhaps written 
more or less under the influence of contro- 
versial bias. Whatever of human imperfec- 
tion may have been associated with its pro- 
duction, the hymn, in its intrinsic merit, true 
sublimitv and historic associations, has be- 



come so entirely dissociated from all trace 
and remembrance of those imperfections as 
to suffer no depreciation therefrom. 

The historic associations which enhance its 
interest and value are too numerous for re- 
hearsal here. The following are simply sam- 
ples: 'A translation of it was sung by a 
company of Armenians while they were being 
massacred in Constantinople. General J. K. 
]>. Stuart, the cayalry leader of the Con- 
federacv, sang it as he was dying from 
wounds received in battle. When the ship 
'London' sank in the Bay of Biscay in 186(), 
the last thing which the last man who left 
the ship heard as the boat pushed otf from 
the doomed vessel, was the voice of the pas- 
sengers singing, 'Rock of Ages.' " 

Topladv wrote various other hvmns of 
merit, but his reputation as a hymn-writer 
will always be associated with "Rock of 
Ages," the sublimest and most popular of all 
his productions. 




Xotwitlistanding all that was said and 
quoted in a former chapter in praise of Top- 
lady's famous hymn, the writer believes that 
Charles ^Yesley's ''Jesus, lover of my soul," 
is the most popular Christian lyric in the 
English lanijuage. 

Dr. Duffield, author of "Stand up, stand 
up for Jesus," wrote of it as follows: "One 
of the most blessed davs of mv life was when 
I found, after my harp had long hung on the 
willows, that I could sing again; that a new 
song was put in my mouth; and when, ere 
ever I was aware, I Avas singing, Mesus, lover 
of mv soul.' If there is anvthing in Christian 
experience of joy and sorrow, of affliction and 
prosperity, of life and death — that hymn is 
the hymn of the ages." 

Henry Ward Beeclier referred to it in the 
following terms of praise: "I would rather 
have written that hvmn of Weslev's, — 

•Jesus, lover of my soul. 
Let me to Thy bosom fly,' 



than to have the fame of all the kings that 
ever sat on the earth. It is more glorious. It 
has more power in it. 1 would rather be the 
autlior of that hymn than to hold the wealth 
&f the richest man in New York. He will 
die. He is dead and does not know it. He 
will pass, after a little while, out of men's 
thoughts. What will there be to speak of 
him? What will he have done that will stoj) 
trouble or encourage hope? His money will 
go to his heirs, and they will divide it. It is 
like a stream divided and growing narrower 
bv division. And thev will die, and it will 
go to their heirs. In three or four genera- 
tions evervthins: comes to the ground again 
for redistribution. But that hymn will go on 
singing until the last trump brings forth the 
angel band : and then. I think, it will mount 
up on some lip to the very presence of God.-' 
The hymn was written in 1730, within six 
months after the founding of the first Meth- 
odist society. It appeared in "Hymns and 
Sacred Poems'' in 1740, entitled, "In Tempta- 
tion." It originally contained five stanzas, 
the third being now generally omitted. The 
complete text of the hymn, as Charles Wesley 
wrote it, is as follows : 

Jesus, Lover of my soul. 
Let me to Thy bosom fly, 



\\ Lile the nearer waters roll, 
\\'liile the tempest still is high! 

Hide me, O my Savior, hide. 
Till the storm of life be past; 

Safe into the haven guide, 

receive my soul at last! 

Other refuge have I none, 

Hangs my helpless soul on Thee: 
Leave, ah! leave me not alone, 

Still support and comfort me ! 
All my trust on Thee is stayed. 

All mj^ help from Thee I bring, 
Cover njy defenseless head 

With the shadow of Thy wing. 

Wilt Thou not regard my call? 

Wilt Thou not accept my prayer? 
Lo! I sink, I faint, I fall— 

Lo, on Thee I cast my care : 
Reach me out Thy gracious hand! 

While I of Thy strength receive, 
Hoping against hope I stand, 

Dying, and, behold, I live. 

Thou. O Christ, art all I want ; 

More than all in Thee I find : 
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, 

Heal the sick, and lead the blind. 
Just and holy is Thy name ; 

1 am all unrighteousness : 
False, and full of sin, I am ; 

Thou art full of truth and grace. 

Plenteous grace with Thee is found, 
Grace to cover all my sin : 



Let the healing streams abound, 
^lake and keep me pure within, 

Thou of life the fountain art ; 
Freely let me take of Thee : 

Spring Thou up within my heart. 

Rise to all eternity. 

Tune — "Martyn" or "Refuge." 

Various accounts of how the hymn came to 
be written have gained more or less currency, 
but none of them can be regarded as authen- 
tic. Dr. Nutter in his "Hvmn Studies'' savs, 
*'The original title (^In Temptation') gives 
us some light, and the omitted stanza, es- 
pecially in connection with the first verse, 
sho^^-^ that some of the imagery and language 
of this hymn was borrowed from the stc-rv of 
Peter's attempt to walk on the Sea of Galilee, 
Matt. 14 : 28-31. The author's genius and 
his rough experience on the Atlantic ac- 
count for the rest." 

^Ir. Stevenson, in his "Methodist Hvmn 
Book Illustrated." gives the following es- 
timate of this popular hymn : "The Lord of 
glory bestowed on Charles Wesley the high 
honor of composing the finest heart-hyniini in 
the English tongue. If the greatest hvmn of 
the cross is 'Rock of Ages,' and the greatest 
hymn of providence is Cowper's ^God moves 
in a mysterious way,' and the grandest bat- 
tle-hymn is ^lartin Luther's ^\ mighty fort- 



ress is our God^' then it may be said that 
the noblest JiGart-hymn ever written, the queen 
of all the lays of holy love, is this immortal 
song. It is at once a confession and a prayer 
in meter. The figures of speech vary, but not 
the thought. In one line we see a storm-tossed 
voyager crying out for shelter until the tem- 
pest is over. In another we see a timid, tear- 
ful child nestling in its mother's arm." 

The solacing power of this hymn in times 
of sorrow is marvelous; and there are com- 
paratively few among English-speaking Chris- 
tians who have not had occasion to praise 
God and bless the memory of Charles Wesley 
for its wondrous ministrv of comfort in some 
of their own dark hours and heart-breaking 

''Two lines of the hymn have been breathed 
fervently and often out of bleeding hearts," 
says Dr. T. L. Cuyler. ''When we were in 
the valley of death-shade, with one beautiful 
child in the new-made grave, and others 
threatened with fatal disease, there was no 
prayer which we said oftener than this: 

'Leave, ah I leave me not alone, 
Still support and comfort me.' 

We do not doubt that tens of thousands of 
other bereaved and wounded hearts have ut- 



tered this piercing cry, out of the depths, 
'Still support and comfort me.' " 

It is said of the late President Charles G. 
Finney, of Oberlin. Ohio, that, as he was 
walking about his grounds not long before 
his death, in the church where he had 
preached for forty years the evening serv- 
ice had just begun. Presently the strains 
of holy song arose from the assembly, and, 
floating to him on the breeze, he heard the 
words of this imperishable hymn. His soul 
W'as touched, and taking up the strains, he 
sang with the invisible worshipers, uniting 
in their praises to the end. Before morning 
he had joined the choir invisible within the 

It was in the "Young Reaper," if we re- 
member correctly, a Baptist Sunday-school 
paper with which we were familiar in early 
Tears, that we once read an account of two 
30ung women who were sisters, being left to 
their fate on the deck of a sinking shij), the 
vessel having been abandoned by the captain 
and his crew. The only passenger on the ship 
besides themselves was a gentleman, who. 
after vainly appealing to the captain to un- 
dertake their rescue, threw a small hatch into 
the water, plunged in himself, seized the 
hatch, clung to it. and floated until rescue 



readied liim. His little raft remained near 
enough to the sinking ship for him to see the 
end. According to his report, as the steamer 
was gradually sinking with the setting of the 
sun. he saw the sisters standing on the deck, 
their arrns about each other, and their voices 
mingled in singing, 

"Jesus, Lover of my soul, 
Let Die to Tby bosom fly, 
While the raging billows roll, 
While the tempest still is high." 

Listening, as their song continued, he heard 
at last the words, 

"Cover my defenseless head, 

With the shadow of Thy wing," 

and in a moment all was over; the ship had 
made its final plunge, and with it those two 
sisters sank to rise no more. 

^'The one central, all-pervading idea of this 
matchless hymn is the soul's yearning for its 
Savior.'' It is adapted alike to the needs of 
the penitent, in quest of pardoning mercy; to 
the tried and tempest-tossed believer, in his 
daily burden-bearing and warfare against sin 
and Satan ; to the bereaved and heart-broken 
of all classes; to the saint whose lot it is to 
suffer long under the wasting of slow and 



painful disease; and to those who, in early 
years, in the midst of their days, or "in age 
and feebleness extreme," must pass "through 
the vallev of the shadow of death." 
t Precious hvmni Mav its ministry of 
heavenly inspiration and holy comfort never 
cease until distracting care, deferred hope, 
depressing sorrow and heart-rending grief 
shall be known on earth no more. 





Another hymn which, for general accept- 
ance and extensive use, can scarcely be re- 
garded as of inferior rank to those already 
considered is 

"Nearer, Diy God, to Thee." 

No hymn-book of to day is complete without 
it. It is a favorite with Christian worshipers 
of all classes. Romanists and Protestants, 
Trinitarians and Unitarians, Conformists 
and Independents, Calvinists and Arminians, 
all alike express their yearnings for greater 
nearness to the Divine in the singing of its 
plaintive but exalted strains. Nor is it pop- 
ular with English-speaking people alone, as 
appears from the fact that ''it has been trans- 
lated into many languages, and has followed 
the triumphs of the gospel in heathen lands." 
"It is the best metrical expression of the 
desire for a more intimate spiritual acquaint- 
ance with God, and the riches of His grace," 
says Mr. Butterworth, ''that we have in mod- 



ern psalmnody. It is a fresh and touchiDg 
expression of the same yearning aspirations 
toward God that we prize in Cowper's 'Oh, 
for a closer wallc with God,' which it succeeds 
in popular favor. It expresses a willingness 
to know God through the discipline of aiflic- 
tion ; to descend into the valleys in the ascent 
of that spiritual mountain whose summit is 
everlasting light.'' 

Sarah Flower Adams, the author, was born 
at Harlow, in Essex, England, February 22, 
1S05. Her father, Benjamin Flower, was edi- 
tor of the Cambridge IntelUqencer, an influ- 
ential weekly publication devoted to the sup- 
port of radical principles. "Accused of libel- 
ing the Bishop of Llandaff, whose political 
conduct he had censured," says Dr. Benson, 
"he was sentenced to six months' imprison- 
ment in Newgate with a fine of £100. He was 
visited in prison by Miss Eliza Gould, a lady 
who is said to have suffered for her own lib- 
eral principles, and shortly after his release 
he married her. They settled at Harlow in 
Essex, where Mr. Flower became a printer 
and where Mrs. Flower died in ISIO. Sarah's 
mother is described as a ladv of talent, as 
was also her sister Eliza, a few years older 
than herself, and likewise an authoress. 

In 1834 Miss Flower was married to Wil- 



liam Bridges Adams, an eminent engineer, 
and also a contribntor to several of the lead- 
ing newspai)ers and magazines of the time. 

In 1847 she was sorely shocked bv the death 
of her sister Eliza, who had been steadily de- 
elining, frijm pulmonary trouble, for some 
time, and to whom she most tenderly minis- 
tered during the whole period of the gather- 
ing shadows. From this time her own health 
gradually declined, while her religious aspira- 
tions, always strong, grew more vigorous, un- 
til, two years after her sister's departure, she 
too, fell asleep in Christ. Her end was quite 
in keeping with her life of faith and hope, 
^'almost her last breath bursting into un- 
conscious song, illustrating the stanza, 

*0r if on joyful wing, 

Cleaving tlie sky. 
Sun, moon and stars forgot, 

Upward I fly. 
Still all my song shall be, 
Nearer, my God to Thee, 

Nearer to Thee.' " 

The story of the hymn, is as follows : After 
the death of their father the sisters settled in 
a suburb of London, where they united with 
a religious society having for its pastor the 
Rev. \Yi11iam Johnson Fox, "a man who, 
though classed among L'nitarians, was neither 



a rationalist nor a sympathizer with Chan- 
uing or Martineau." Mr. Fox prepared a 
collection of ''Hymns and Antliems" for use 
in his own congregation, for which, at ]iis re- 
quest, Mrs. Adams wrote thirteen original 
hymns and a few translations. Among these 
contributions was "Xearer, my God. to Thee." 
The hymn first a])peared in the second part 
of Mr. Fox's collection, with the title, "Near- 
ness to God Desired." in 1841. 

This hymn has had to win its way against 
more prejudice and hostile criticism, perhaps, 
than any other that eyer approxim,ated to the 
same degree of popularity. This is due to the 
fact that the author was a Unitarian, and that 
the hymn makes no direct mention of Christ. 
It should be remembered, howeyer, that her 
piety ''was gauged by deyotional feeling and 
high religious attainments, rather than by 
denominational requirements or sectarian 
yiews.-' God often leads sincere souls to the 
mount of spiritual yision and into heart ex- 
periences of grace in spite of errors in in- 
tellectual belief. Martin Luthei' is a remark- 
able illustration of this. It will be well to 
remember too that "Nearer, my God. to Thee" 
is by no means the only hymn of deyotion in 
our hymnals that fails to make direct mention 
of the name of Christ. No one objects to 



"When all Thy mercies, O my God, 
My rising soul surveys," 

because it makes no mention of the second 
Person in the Trinity. 

The Rev. Dr. Tillett has well said, "Chris- 
tians will never consent to give up those 
sweetest and tenderest hvmns, 'O Thou who 
driest the mourner's tears/ and ^Come, ye dis- 
consolate,' because the gifted author, Thomas 
Moore, was far from being a Christian. Ba- 
laam and Saul were among the prophets." 

The original text of the hymn, which, not- 
withstanding the many efforts made to im- 
])rove it b}^ alterations and additions, re- 
mains in most hymnals substantially un- 
changed, is as follows : 

Nearer, my God to Thee, 

Nearer to Thee ! 
E'en though it be a cross 

That raiseth me ; 
Still all my song would be, 
Nearer, my God to Thee, 

Nearer to Thee. 

Though like the wanderer. 

The sun gone down. 
Darkness be over me, 

My rest a stone; 
Yet in my dreams I'd be, 
Nearer, my God to Tliee, 

Nearer to Thee. 


^..•' ' 


There let the way appear, 

Steps unto heaven : 
All that Thon send'st to me 

In mercy given : 
Angels to beckon me 
Nearer, my God to Thee, 

Nearer to Thee. 

Then, with my waking thoughts, 

Bright \\ ith Tliy praise, 
Out of my stony griefs 

Bethel I'll raise: 
So by my woes to be 
Nearer, my God to Thee, 

Nearer to Thee. 

Or if on joyful wing 

Cleaving the sky. 
Sun, moon, and stars forgot, 

Upwards I fly. 
Still all my song shall be, 
Nearer, my God to Thee. 

Nearer to Thee. 

TuxE — "Bethany." 

About half a dozen persons, most of them 
of some distinction, have tried the experiment 
of adding to tlie original a stanza that ex- 
presses dependence on C'hrist for salvation, 
but none of them have been regarded as 
improvements by the Church generally, or 
are likely to be so regarded. What was orig- 
inally the product of an inspiration can not 



well be improved by alterations made in the 
interest of doctrinal or sectarian prejudice. 

This hymn has been pecnliarly endeared to 
the writer through a circumstance which oc- 
curred in connection with his own devoted 
mother's final illness. It was his privilege to 
minister to her most of the time the last two 
Aveeks before she passed to her heavenly 
home. During one of her paroxysms of suf- 
fering she turned her face suddenly toward 
him', and exclaimed: "Oh, Wilson, sing! I 
do belie\e if you would sing it would ease 
my pain I" To the question, ''Mother, what 
shall I sing?'- she replied, with great fervor, 
'•Sing 'Nearer, my God to Thee.' " 

Struggling with emotion we sang the hymn 
as best we could, the sufferer in the meantime 
becoming more at ease. At the conclusion of 
Ihe vsinging she exclaimed, with much em- 
phasis, ^'You didnH sing it all!'' When told 
that one stanza had been forgotten, recalling 
a part of it herself, she said, with increased 
emphasis, "Sing 

'So by my woes to be 
Nearer, my God to Thee." " 

Then we sang, greatly to her satisfaction, the 
stanza that had been forgotten : 



"Then with my waking thoughts, 

Bright with Thy praise, 
Out of my stony griefs, 

Bethel I'll raise; 
So by my woes to be 
Nearer, my God, to Thee, 

Nearer to Thee." 

With as clear a voice as she was able to com- 
mand in her best days she joined in singing 
the entire stanza — the last she ever sang until 
she joined in the music of the skies. 

"In the battle of Fort Donnelson a brave 
little drummer bov had his arm taken off bv 
a cannon ball. One who visited the field after 
the battle was over found him dying of ex- 
haustion through loss of blood ; but he was 
heard singing, even while his life-blood ebbed 

'There let the way appear. 

Steps unto heaven : 
All that Thou sendest me 

In mercy given : 
Angels to beckon me 
Nearer, my God to Thee, 

Nearer to Thee.' " 

It would hardly be suitable to dismiss our 
consideration of this hymn without recalling 
its asociation with the tragic death of the late 
President McKinley. As reported by Dr. 



Matthew D. Mann, the distinguished suffer- 
er's attending i)hysician, his last utterances 

" 'Nearer, my God to Thee, 

E'en though it be a cross,' 

has been my constant prayer." 

Nor will the present generation ever forget 
how, in memory of their illustrious dead and 
as expressive of the general yearning for a 
sense of divine nearness and consolation, 
Christian assemblies over all the land sang 
this hvmn in their churches and memorial 


services the Sabbath following the announce- 
ment of his death. Then came the day of his 
funeral, with that solemn "five minutes," dur- 
ing which, from east to west and from north 
to south, business of every kind was suspend- 
ed, the whirr of machinery hushed, street cars, 
steamboats and railway trains were halted 
in their courses and telegraph instruments 
and telephone bells were silenced, while prac- 
tically the whole nation, with bowed heads, 
and breaking hearts, joined in singing their 
fallen chieftain's favorite hymn and dying 
prayer, — 

"Nearer, my God, to Thee." 
It was indeed an unprecedented occasion 



of public sorrow — a marvelous demonstration 
of the religious sentiment whjoli. however 
largely subordinated to the prevalent com- 
mercialism and competition of the age, is nat- 
ural to our lunuanity, and will, in times of 
great stress and calamity at least, assert it- 
self with emphasis. It was an equally unprec- 
edented testimonial to the value and popu- 
larity of the hymn we have been considering. 




Amoug the finest of Charles Wesley's lyr- 
ical productions and the greatest lyric ever 
written on the subject of heart-purity is the 
hymn beginning, 

"O for a heart to praise my God, 
A heart from sin set free." 

It is based on Psalm 51: 10: "Create in me a 
clean heart, O God ; and renew a right spirit 
within me;" and was published in "Hymns 
and Sacred Poems/' 1742. The saintly John 
Fletcher, of Madeley, commenting on it, once 
said : "Here is undoubtedly an evangelical 
{>ra3'er for the love which restores the soul 
to a state of sinless rest and scriptural perfec- 

As originally written the hymn contained 
eight stanzas, but as now generally published 
what were formerly the fifth, sixth and 
seventh stanzas are omitted, the hymn being 
quite complete without them, as will be seen 
from the following commonly used text: 



O for a heart to praise my God. 

A heart from sin set free, 
A heart that always feels Thy blood, 

So freely spilt for me! 

A heart resigned, submissive, meek, 

^ly great Redeemer's throne. 
Where only Christ is heard to speak. 

Where Jesus reigns alone. 

O for a lowly, contrite heart. 

Believing, true, and clean, 
Which neither life nor death can part 

From Him that dwells within ! 

A heart in every thought renewed. 

And full of love divine; 
Perfect, and right, and pure, and good, 

A copy. Lord, of Thine. 

Thy nature, gracious Lord, impart: 

Come quickly from above; 
Write Thy new name upon my heart, 

Thy new, best name of Love. 

Tune — "Ablington." 

That the omitted stanzas are unnecessary 
to the completeness of the hymn, and, if 
retained, would impair rather than improye 
it, will be eyident, we think, to all who com- 
pare the text as rendered aboye with the way 
it would read were the following stanzas 
inserted immediately after stanza three: 



Thy tenclor lionrt is still the same, 

And melts at human woe ; 
Jesus, for Thee, distressed I am, 

I want Thy love to know. 

Mv heart, Thou knowest, can never rest 

Till Thou create my peace; 
Till, of my Eden re-possessed. 

From self and sin I cease. 

Fruit of Thy gracious lips, on me 

Bestow that peace unknown. 
The hidden manna, and the tree 

Of life, and the white stone. 

Charles Wesley was a master poet and John 
Wesley a master critic of poetry. As a critic 
Jolin put many a finisliing touch on his broth- 
er's productions without which they would 
have exhibited more imperfections than now 
charactej'ize them. The foregoing hymn is 
an instance of this kind. Charles wrote, "O 
for nn heart." and used the expression '^an 
liearf' throughout the hymn. John changed 
it to ''a heart'' throughout. Charles wrote, 
''O for an humble, lowly heart," which John 
altered so as to read. ^'O for a lowly, contrite 
heart." Charles wrote ''dear Redeemer's 
throne," in line two of stanza two, and ^'dear- 
est Lord impart," in line one of the last 
stanza^ which John changed respectively to 




^^great Redeemer's throne" and ''gracious 
Lord iDipart.-' These alterations were made 
by John Wesley in preparing the hymn for 
his ''Collection" published in 1789. 

The singing of this hymn in the Spirit has 
been the means of leading many a soul hun- 
gering and thirsting after righteousness into 
''the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of 
Christ." Its precious and deeply significant 
words have also dwelt on the lips of many a 
dying believer, inspiring faith, quickening 
hope, and enabling him to shout in glorious 
triumph over "the last enemy." It is one of 
the hvmns destined to live as long as the crv 
for inward purity finds place in human hearts 
and seeks expression on human lips. 




Of tlie six thousand five hundred hj^mns 
})rodnced by Charles Wesley, the princely 
singer of early Methodism, none exceeds in 
poetic worth or in the depth and richness of 
its spirituality and in genuine helpfulness 
his lofty and glowing lyric on perfect love, 

"Love cli\ine, all loves excelling, 

Joy of heaven to earth come down !" 

It was first given to the public in his ''Hymns 
for those that Seek, and those that have 
Kedemption in the blood of Jesus Christ," 
1747, It soon became popular among the 
^lethodist societies, and finallv, bv genuine 
merit alone, won its way to almost universal 
favor throughout the English-speaking world. 
"It is one of the most popular and helpful 
hymns," says Mr. Stead, ''which, originating 
in ^lethodist hymnody, have found an hon- 
ored place in the hymn-books of almost every 
other denomination." The late Rev. Charles 



S. Robinson, D. D.. who was one of the fore- 
most hymnologists of this conntry, dechired 
it ''one of the noblest of all the compositions 
of Rev. Charles Wesley;" Dr. Nutter regards 
it as "one of the most valuable hymns the 
author ever wrote;" and the late Rev. Henry 
Ward Beecher cherished it as a special favor- 
ite. It is said that no one who ever heard the 
great congregation in Plymouth Church sing 
"Love Divine" is likely to forget the soul- 
stirring effect. "This is one of the hymns of 
Charles Wesley," says Mr. Stead again, 
"which enabled Methodism to sing itself into 
the heart of the world." 

The hvmn as published in manv hvmnals 
is considerably altered from its original form, 
some compilers having omitted the second 
stanza, and others having changed various 
expressions in other stanzas, in both cases 
the alterations having been made to suit i}\e 
hymn to the doctrinal bias of those who made 
them. The following is the full text of the 
hvum : 

Love divine all loves excelling. 

Joy of heaven to earth come down ! 
Fix in us Thy humble dwelling; 

All Thy faithful mercies cro\\Ti. 
Jesus, Thou art all compassion, 

Pure unltounded love Thou art; 
Visit us with Thy salvation : 

Enter every trembling heart. 


Brentbe, breathe Thy loving Spirit 

Into every troubled breast ! 
Let us all in Tiiee inherit. 

Let us find that second rest. 
Take away our bent to sinning ; 

Alj^ha and Omega be ; 
End of faith, as its beginning. 

Set our hearts at liberty. 

Come, almighty to deliver, 

Let us all Thy life receive ; 
Suddenly return, and never, 

Never more Thy temples leave : 
Thee we would be always blessing, 

Serve Thee as Thy hosts above, 
Fray and praise Thee without ceasing, 

Glory in Thy perfect love. 

Finish then Thy new creation; 

Pure and spotless let us be ; 
Let us see Thy great salvation, 

Perfectly restored in Thee: 
Changed from glory into glory, 

Till in heaven we take our place. 
Till we cast our crowns before Thee, 

Lost in wonder, love, and praise. 

Tune — "Beecher." 

The English Methodist Hymn-Book omits 
the second stanza, ^'arising probably," says 
Mr. Stevenson, '^from tw^o lines w^hich are 
thought to be defective in doctrinal accii- 
rac}^" Those lines are the fourth and fifths 
the fourth line reading, "Let us find that sec- 



onrJ rest," and the fifth line, as originally 
written, 'Take away onr power of sinning." 
American Methodists generally retain this 
stanza, with the expression, "power of sin- 
ning,'' in line 5 changed to ''bent to sinning.'' 
This is quite in accord with the suggestion 
of the Rev. John Fletcher, a very judicious 
critic in his day. who justified the expression 
"second rest," but took exceptions to the line, 
''Take away our power of sinning,'' as too 
strong. His words respecting "that second 
rest" are as follows : '-^Ir. Weslev savs sec- 
ond rest, because an imperfect believer enjoys 
a first inferior rest; if he did not, he would 
be n-o believer." Regarding "Take away our 
power of sinning'' he says : ''Is not this ex- 
pression too strong? Would it not be better 
to soften it bv saving, 'Take awav the love of 
sinning?' Can God take away from us our 
poiccr of sinning without taking away our 
I'ower of free obedience?" 

The late Rev. Charles S. Robinson, D. D., an 
eminent Presbyterian divine, in his "Annota- 
tions I^pon Popular Hymns," ofifers some in- 
structive, just and interesting observations 
regarding the line, "Let us find that second 
rest," which has been an offense to so many. 
We give our readers the benefit of the same 
in the three following paragraphs: 



"Come unto me, all ve that labor and are 
heavy laden, and I will sive you rest. Take 
my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am 
meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find 
rest unto your souls." Matthew 11 :28, 29. 
\Aliat strikes us so strangely in reading oyer 
these yerses is the discovery that Christ says 
in the beginning, "I will give you rest,*' and 
at the end says, "Ye shall find rest." With 
the one oft'er the rest seems to be free ; with 
the other it is evidently somewhat severely 
conditioned. ^loreover, the figures employed 
seem paradoxical. To propose to relieve a 
man who labors by putting on him a yoke, 
or to help a man who is heavy laden by impos- 
ing upon him a burden, gives chance for a 

The explanation is found by assuming that 
in Christian experience there are tico rests, 
and not iust one onlv. The first of these is a 
gift, the other is an acquisition. These differ 
quite elementally. They do not arrive in the 
same moment. They are not precisely of the 
same character. They certainly do not come 
in anvthino: like the same wav. The second 
one is never attained till the first has pre- 
ceded it. The first may be reached years 
before the other is made perfect, so that it 



mijrlit liappen that the spiritual distance be- 
tween them sliall be sorrowfully wide. 

In the second stanza of the hymn now be- 
fore us* is the line, "Let us find thv promised 
rest." This is singularly unfortunate, for a 
fine allusion is lost. But singers insisted that 
they did not know what the original line 
meant. Charles Wesley wrote quite scriptur- 
al ly, but we miss the point. For he said, "Let 
us find that second rest." He was singing of 
what this verse [of Scripture] puts second. 
Xo one can appreciate accurately the signifi- 
cance of these figures who prefers to sing it. 
"Let us find Thy promised rest." The yoke 
comes before the doctrine : "Take my yoke 
upon you, and learn of me." Therein lies 
our duty. The rest still waits. Yoke-bearing 
leads to it. Jesus ofters His hand to you. 
Repent of all your sins ; put your simple trust 
in Him. Then comes a new endeavor. Sub- 
mit at once to Christ's will. "If any man 
will do His will, he shall know of the doc- 
trine." The doing is ahead of even the doc- 
trine. Make one simple resolve in dej^endence 
on divine aid : "Here I give myself to Thee ! 
I put on the yoke. I go joyfully under the 
burden I" 

This hymn has often been used with p'cat 

*As found in Laude? Domini. 

hy:\ixs that are immortal 

effectiveness in revival services, at camp- 
meetings and in various conventions and asso- 
ciations, Tiie writer recalls instances of this 
kind in which the singing of the hymn has 
heen accompanied witli manifestations of the 
divine presence, reminding one of the scenes 
on the day of Pentecost. 

A^arious portions of the hymn have also 
been greatly blessed to the comfort and in- 
sj)iration of dying saints. A devout Method- 
ist woman of England who, in accordance 
with strong presentiments, had lost several 
relatives and was herself nearing the grave, 
when asked by her sorrowing husband, ''Is 
Jesus precious?" remained silent for a little, 
and then, summoning all her strength, sang: 

".Jesus, Thou art all compassion ; 
I*ure unbounded love Thou art ; 
Visit us witli Thy salvation ; 
Enter every trembling heart." 

After this she continued praising God and 
singing her notes of triumph until the pearly 
gates ojjened and her ransomed s])irit passed 
into tlie Telestial City. 

Anothci* holv woman as she came to the 
crossing of Jordan testified, saying. 

"Angels now are hovering round us," 



and then sang-, as her last note of triumph on 

"Finish then Thy new creatior, 

Pnre and spotiess let us be; 
Let us see Tliy great salvation, 

Perfectly restored in Thee : 
Changed from glory into glory. 

Till in heaven we take our place, 
Till we cast our crowns before Thee, 

Lost in wonder, love and praise." 

How beautiful to pass frou; the singing of 
such a victorious strain on earth to the sing- 
ing of the "'new song'' before the throne of 
God in heaven ! 






''If -my uiau will come after me. let biin 
deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and 
follow me'- (Luke 0:23), are the words in 
which the Son of God announced for all time 
the terms of Christian discipleshi}). Xor has 
any hymn of the Christian Church ever em- 
bodied more fully the spirit of that announce- 
ment than Henrv Francis Lvte's 

"Jesus, I my cross have taken. 
All to leave, and follow Thee."' 

^Ir. Lyte, the author of the liyniii, was born 
near Kelso, Scotland, in ITOo. His father 
was a caj)tain in the English arn.y, and both 
the father and mother died while Henry was 
a child. Friends took charge of his educa- 
tion, and he was finally sent to Trinity Col- 
lege, Dublin, from which he was graduated in 
1814. He had ]»urposed to devote himself to 
the practice of medicine, and studied with 
that end in view for a time. In ISl."). however, 
he chaoged his plans, decided to preach the 



oospel, and was ordained to the ministry of 
the Church of England. "A dreary Irish 
curacy" was the fiehl of his earliest minis- 
terial labors, in which he served as faithfully 
and efficiently as could be expected of one 
Avho, although sincere, had never known by 
experience the regenerating power of the gos- 
pel of Clirist. 

In 1818 Mr. l^yte was the subject of a re- 
markable spiritual change, brought about 
tlirough an equally remarkable providence. 
A brother clergyman who was near the gates 
of death desired Mr. Lyte's counsel in spirit- 
ual matters, and sent for him. The sick man, 
according to Mr. Lyte's account, was a minis- 
ler of exalted standing, whose life had 
abounded in benevolence, good sense and 
Christian virtues. Still, the approach of death 
convinced him that he was not at heart a 
Christian — that he was without that expert- 
mental knowledge of Christ which alone gives 
])eace, hope and victory in a dying hour. He 
insisted upon their examining, in the light of 
Ihe Xew Testament, the grounds of Christian 
faith and hope, and the means by which sin- 
ful men may be prepared for the bliss of 

"My blood almost curdled," wrote Mr. Lyte, 
as quoted by his daughter, Mrs. Hogg, "to 


THE cross-beaki:r's hymn 

hear the dying man dechire and prove^ with 
irrefutable clearness, that both he and T had 
been ntterlv mistaken in the means we had 
adopted for oui*selves, and recommended to 
others, if the explanatory epistles of St. Paul 
were to be taken in their plain and literal 
sense. You can hardly, perhaps, conceive the 
effects of all this, proceeding from,' such a 
man, in such a situation." As a result of their 
conference the dying minister found "peace 
with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,'^ 
and the living minister went forth a renewed 
man, having experienced a change akin to that 
Avrought upon Isaiah the prophet when by 
seraphic ministry his lips were touched with 
hallowed fire. This, according to one account, 
was the occasion which led to the writing of 
"Jesus, I my cross have taken." the original 
motto of which was the words of St. Peter to 
his Master, "Lo, we have left all and followed 

The following is the full text of the hymn, 
which is one of the Church's noblest lyrics, 
and should be thoroughlv memorized bv all 
Christians, especially by those who are 
young : 

Jesus, I my cross have taken, 
All to leave and follow Thee : 

163 - J 


Nakpri, poor, despised, forsaken, 
Tliou rroiii lience mj^ all slialtbe. 

Perish, every fond ambition, 

All I've sought, or hoped, or known, 

Yet how rich is my condition ! 
God and heaven are still my own. 

Let the world despise and leave me; 

They have left my Savior too : 
Human hearts and looks deceive me; 

Thou art not, like them, untrue ; 
And while Thou shalt smile upon me, 

God of wisdom, love, and might, 
Foes may hate, and friends disown me; 

Show Thy face, and all' is bright. 

Go, then, earthly fame and treasure; 

Come, disaster, scorn and pain ; 
In Thy service pain is pleasure; 

With Thy favor loss is gain. 
I have called Thee, Abba, Father, 

I have set my heart on Thee : 
Storms may howl, and clouds may gather, 

All must work for good to me. 

Man may trouble and distress me; 

'Twill but drive me to Thy breast: 
Life with trials hard may press me ; 

Heaven will bring me sweeter rest. 
O 'tis not in grief to harm me, 

While Thy love is left to me! 
O 'twere not in joy to charm me, 

Were that joy unmixed with Thee! 

Soul, then know thy full salvation ; 
Rise o'er sin, and fear, and care; 



Joy to find in eveiy station 

Sometlnnc: still to do or bear. 
Think what Spirit dwells within thee : 

Think what Father's smiles are thine ; 
Think that Jesus died to win thee : 

Child of heaven, canst thou repine? 

Haste thee on from grace to glory, 

Armed by faith, and winged by prayer; 
Heaven's eternal day's before thee, 

God's own hand shall guide thee there. 
Soon shall close thy earthly mission, 

Soon shall pass thy pilgrim days; 
Hope shall change to glad fruition, 

Faith to sight, and prayer to praise. 

Tune — '"Disciple." 

This hymn has been a great source of in- 
spiration and strength in hundreds of cases 
to those who were oppressed and persecuted 
for their adherence to Christ, His truth, and 
His cause. Tlie writer recalls with much viv- 
idness instances in which, during his early 
years, it was sung in his hearing during such 
circumstances, his own godly parents some- 
times being among the oppressed but victori- 
ous singers. He owes much, too, to the influ- 
ence of this noble production in the direction 
of strengthening and developing his own faith 
while little more than a child in years and 
Christian experience. Much as he esteemed it 
then, however, its sentiments have become 



more j)recious with the passing years, and 
to-dav its value is appreciated more than ever, 
ir is expressive of that rugged type of Chris- 
tianity exhibited by the glorious company of 
Ihe apostles and the noble army of the mar- 
tyrs, A^'hose self-denial, resignation, purity of 
character, and unswerving lovaltv to truth 
and duty challenge our em;ulation. 

We read some years ago an account of an 
intelligent young woman, the daughter of a 
notorious infidel, T^ho, in a revival meeting 
near lier father's home, gave her heart to God 
and became soundly converted. On being 
ap})rised of her action the father called her to 
account for it, whereupon she ^^ witnessed a 
good profession," and, with much courage and 
great blessing, declared what God had done 
for her soul. The father, unable to dissuade 
lier from her well -chosen course by gentler 
means, at length became enraged and in- 
formed her that, unless she would give up her 
profession of Christ and her relation with 
His people, she must leave his home forever. 

Terrible as was the situation now confront- 
ing her, she remembered how her divine Mas- 
ter had said, '^ Whoso loveth father or mother 
more than me is not worthy of me," and, in- 
stead of weakening, her faith grew stronger 
and her purpose more firm. The time soon 

1 66 


passed within wbicli her fatlier demanded a 
final decision, and when the critical moment 
came she made no hesitation, but, assuring 
her father of her love and respect for him, 
assured him also of her supreme love for the 
Christ who had redeemed her, and of her pur 
pose to cleave to Him at all hazards. This 
was a signal for the culmination * of the 
father's wrath. She was unceremoniously 
commanded to leave the home she held so 
dear, and to darken its doors no more. This 
onlv seemed to nerve her for more heroic de- 
votion to the Christ she loved above all others. 
Gathering up such of her effects as it was con- 
venient to take with her, she tenderly and 
through tears bade her father and the rest of 
the family farewell, and started out, like 
Abraham, when he set out upon his pilgrim- 
age ''not knowing whither he went." 

The sun was going down, and, as the shad- 
ows of night began to thicken around her, she 
turned aside into a grove, not far from the 
home she had left, to pray for divine grace and 
guidance. God came to her heart in great 
blessins:, and so confident did she become that 
He would make all her trouble work for her 
good that she soon found herself singing: 

".Tesns, T my cross have taken, 
All to leave and follow Thee ; 



Naked, poor, despised, forsaken, 
Tliou from hence my all shalt be. 

Perish every fond ambition. 
Air I've sought, or hoi)ed, or known, 

Yet how rich is my condition! 

God and heaven are still my own." 

As she sang on amid the gathering shades, 
little thinking that any but God was listen- 
ing to her heartfelt strains, the gentle breeze 
wafted the voice of the singer toward the home 
she had left, where it fell upon the ear of the 
father who had so inhumanly banished her 
from beneath his roof. As he listened the 
voice of the singer was soon recognized, the 
words of the hymn became distinguishable, 
strange emotions struggled for expression, 
and soon his feet were bearing him in the 
direction from whence came those notes of 
holy but pathetic song. In a short time the 
banished daughter was in the tender embrace 
of the relenting father, who, amid tears and 
sobs, withdrew the ban he had pronounced, 
entreated her forgiveness, led her back to the 
home she had left, pledged her full liberty to 
serve and worship God as she might please, 
besought her prayers, and was soon himself 
rejoicing in a Savior's pardoning love. 



schmolck'vS hymx of resignation 

One of the teiiderest and ST^-eetest of all 
hymns of submission to the divine will was 
ori.2,inally written in the German bj Pastor 
Benjamin Schmolck, of Schweidnitz, about 
1704, under the title, "Mein Jesu, wie du 
Willst," and has been beautifully rendered 
into English by Miss Jane Borthwick, of 
Scotland, her translation beginning, 

"My Jesus, as Thou wilt, 

Oh, may Thy will be mhie." 

It is founded upon Mark 14 : 86 : "And He 
said, Abba, Father, all things are possible 
unto Thee; take away this cup from me: 
nevertheless, not what I will, but what Thou 
wilt." The hymn is thoroughly saturated 
with the spirit of these remarkable utter- 
ances, called forth from our Lord by His 
agony in Gethsemane, and so is marvelous in 
its adaptation to expressing "the fellowship 
of His sufferings." 

"The thought is this," savs Dr. Robinson : 


hymNkS that ake immortal 

"We are to beud our wills in simple submis- 
sion to Jesus, as Jesus bent His to that of the 
Father, and so settle the restive iuquisitive- 
ness of our wounded sensibility. There is no 
other way of dealing- with such a question as 
this. We must take the testimony of those 
who have had experience of trouble. Four 
eminent men there have been whose history 
in this particular is before us. Aaron was 
terribly bereaved when his sons were struck 
dead ; but ^he held his peace.- That was well, 
but Eli took higher ground; he spoke; he 
said : 'It is the Lord, let Him do what seem- 
eth good in His sight.^ But Job reached a 
step higher than either; he spoke not only in 
the language of submission, but of thankful- 
ness : 'Blessed be the name of the Lord.' And 
then, from a far more serene and elevated 
summit of satisfaction, Paul, that grand old 
Apostle of the New Testament, declared, 'I 
take pleasure in my distresses.' This ought 
to be enough for us." 

The hymn in the German and also in its 
translated form contains seven stanzas, of 
Avhich only the first, fourth and last usually 
appear in the hymnals. The translation is 
from "Hymns from the Land of Luther," a 
volume of translations from the German, pro- 
duced and published by Miss Borthwick and 



lier sister, Mrs. Eric J. Findlater. The fol- 
lowing- are the stanzas comprising the liynm 
as now generally sung in English-speaking 
chnrehes : 

My Jesus, as Thou wilt : 

may Thy will be mine ; 
Into Thy hand of love 

1 would my all resign. 

- Through sorrow or through joy, 
Conduct me as Thine own, 
And help me still to say. 

"My Lord, Thy will be done." 

My Jesus, as Thou wilt : 

Though seen through many a tear, 
Let not my star of hope 

Grow dim and disappear. 
Since Thou on earth hast wept 

And sorrowed oft alone. 
If I must weep with Thee, 

My Lord, Thy will be done. 

My Jesus, as Thou wilt : 

All shall be well for me: 
Each changing future scene 

I gladly trust with Thee. 
Straight to my home above, 

I travel calmly on. 
And sing in life or death. 

":My Lord, Thy will be done.^ 

T c NE — " Je vvett.** 

Benjamin Schmolck. the author of these 



pathetic and beautiful lines, was a Silesian/ 
born in Brauchitsclidorf, December 21, 1672, 
and was one of the most popular hymn- 
writers of Germany. He graduated at Leip- 
sic in 1G07; became pastor of Schweidnitz in 
1702; remained faithful to the numerous and 
grave responsibilities of this position until 
1737, when, upon the anniversary of his wed- 
ding, February twelfth, he entered into final 
rest. The Schweidnitz parish was large, and 
Schmolck's responsible and laborious posi- 
tion was rendered the more difficult by the 
machinations of the Jesuits, who secretly 
sought to counterwork his efforts. It is said, 
however, that the earnestness of his labors 
and the sweetness of his disposition not only 
won for him the hearts of his parishioners, 
but disarmed the Jesuits as well. 

"That pious German pastor, Benjamin 
Schmolck is an example of how a hymn is 
written," says Dr. Arthur T. Pierson. "A 
fire raged over his parish and laid in ruins 
his church and the homes of his people. Then 
God's Angel of Death took wife and children, 
and only graves were left. Then disease 
[paralysis] smote him and laid him pros- 
trate; then blindness took the light of his 
eves awav, — and under all this avalanche of 
ills Schmolck dictated these words." His be- 



reavements appear to have suggested the 

•'Into Thy hand of love 
I would my all resign ;" 

his blindness to have called out the expres- 

"Through sorrow or through joy, 
Conclucl me as Thine own," 


"Let not my star of hope 
Groio dim and disappear!" 

while the breaking up of his home and the 
palsying of his body seeni to have suggested 
the stanza, 

"Then to my home above 
I travel calmly on, 
And sing in life or death, 

'My Lord, Thy will be done!' " 

As suggested by Mr. Pierson the italicised 
words refer to his various afflictions. The 
foregoing facts regarding the circumstances 
out of which this remarkable hymn grew help 
us the better to understand and appreciate 
its significance. It is preeminently a hymn 
for those experiencing the disappointments 
and adversities of life; for seasons of be- 
wildering calamity and distress; for times of 



bereavement and desolation of spirit; for the 
sick room, and the hour when the shadows 
of death are gathering. 

Dr. Duffield, in his ''English Hymns," re- 
fers to the fact of this hymn having been a 
favorite with the late Dr. T. H. Skinner, as 
follows : ^' 'As the olive did not vield its oil 
before it was bruised/ so, sav the rabbis, 'Is- 
rael never produced the fruits of righteous- 
ness before the affliction of God came upon 
them.' Perhaps it was from some such sense 
of the nature of the divine discipline that 
this hvmn was so «rreat a favorite with the 
late Dr. T. H. Skinnei^ of Union Theological 

The hymn certainly breathes the sjurit en- 
joined by the author of the Epistle to the 
IIebre\vs when he says, "My son, despise not 
thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint 
when thou art rebuked of Him : for whom the 
Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth 
every son whom He receiveth." 




Another boautifiil and widely used hymn 
breathing (juite the same spirit of meek and 
trustful submission to the diyine will as 
Schmolck's pathetic hymn of resignation is 
Charlotte Elliott's '^Thy Will be Done," 
which ai)pears in most hym;uals, but, unfor- 
tunately, with two stanzas omitted. The fol- 
lowing is the hymn in full : 

My God and Father, wbilo I stray 
Far from my home on life's rough way, 
O teach me from my heart to say, 
Thy will be done. 

Though (lark my path and sad my lot, 
Let me be still and murmur not, 
But breathe the prayer divinely taught, 
Thy will be done. 

Wliat though in lonely grief I sigh 
For friends 1 eloved no longer nigh, 
Submissive still' would I reply, 
Thy will be done. 

Though Thou hast called to resign 

What most I prized, it ne'er was mine, ^ 


I have but yielded what was Thine 
Thy will be done. 

Should grief or sickness waste away 
My life in premature decay, 
Father divine, I still would say, 
Thy will be done. 

If but my fainting heart be blessed 
With Thy sweet Spirit for its guest, 
My God, to Thee I leave the rest: 
Thy will be done. 

Renew niy will from day to day, 
Blend it with Thine and take away 
All that now makes it hard to say. 
Thy will be done. 

Tune — "Herbert." 

Commenting on this liymn Mr. Stevenson 
says: "The pious author, during her long life 
of more than fourscore years, outlived most 
of lier friends. Her own brother Henry, she 
had hoped would have survived her, and min- 
istered to her in her last hours, but when in 
1865 he died before her, her gentle spirit 
quailed under the bereavement. She often 
said his removal changed the aspect of her 
life, yet she meekly submitted to the heavy 
stroke from her loving Father's hand, and she 
sang in the language of the tw^o omitted 
\erses of this hvmn : — 



*Wlmt tlion£:li in lonoly grief I sigh 
For friends beloved no longer nigh. 
S*5ubnHssive still wonld I reply. 
Tliy will be done. 

'Tliough Tbou bast called luo to resign 
Wbat most I prized, it ne'er was mine, 
I bave but yielded w bat was Tbine, 
Tby v.ill be done.' 

It was not justice to the author to omit these 

In some collections the latter of these 
stanzas is retained, but altered slightly with 
a view to adapting it better to general use. 
The altered form is, 

"If Thou shouUlcfit call me to resign," 

in line one, and in line three, 

"/ 0]ily yield Thee what is Thine.*' 

These alterations in no material degree 
change the sense, while they relieve the 
stanza of expressions rather too personal for 
public use. The hymn is a gem with which 
all Christians should be familiar, and which, 
with its usually omitted stanzas, is worthy of 
[I place in every collection of Christian 






Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom, 

Lead Thou me on ; 
The night is dark, and I am far from home ; 

Lead Thou me on : 
Keep Thou my feet ; I do not ask to see 
The distant scene, — one step enough for me. 

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou 

Shouldest lead me on ; 
I loved to choose and see my path : but now 

Lead Thou me on. 
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears. 
Pride ruled my will : remember not past years. 

So long Thy power hath blessed me, sure it still 

Will lead me on 
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till 

The night is gone; 
And with the morn those angel faces smile. 
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile. 

Tune — •"Lux Benigna." 

It may be safely asserted that no lyric ever 
written expressing the yearning of a soul per- 
plexed and troubled for divine illumination 
and guidance surpasses the foregoing in gen- 



nine pathos and poetic worth. Although 
never intended bv its author for use as a 
hynm, and subject as it is on some accounts 
to criticism when admitted to a place in the 
hymnody of the church, still it possesses 
other elements which so highly recommend it 
as a lyric for devotional use that it has won 
its wav into the foremost hvmnals of our 
time and to a popularity not exceeded by any 
other hymn of its class. 

The hymn is commonly spoken of as hav- 
ing been written by Cardinal Newman, and 
therefgre as a Roman Catholic production, 
which, with a certain class, is a sufficient 
ground for its condemnation. If it were true 
that a Roman Catholic produced it, that of it- 
self should be no barrier to its admission into 
the hymnody of Protestant churches, provid- 
ing its intrinsic merits entitle it to such rec- 
oo'uition and use. Most Protestant hvmnals 
of our day include productions from such 
writers as Bernard of Clairvaux, Bernard of 
Cluny, Maurus Rabanus. Thomas of Celano, 
Francis Xavier, Madame Guion and Freder- 
ick William Faber, all of whom were Roman 
Catholics; yet those hymns are among the 
choicest portions of devotional literature 
which have come to us from bygone genera- 



But '^Lead, Kindly Light," was not written 
bv a Koiiiau ('atliolic. Nor was it written bv 

t. t. 

Cardinal Newman, but bv John Henrv New- 
man, of the Church of England, some dozen 
years before he became a Romanist, and more 
than thirty years before he was made a Car- 
dinal. He declares emphatically in his Apol- 
ogia Pro Vita Sua, which is a history of his 
religious o])inions, that at the time of writing 
the hymn he had no thought of leaving the 
Church of England. Moreover, in his later 
years he declared that the hymn did not rep- 
resent his feelings as a Roman Catholic, add- 
ing, with a quaint and quiet smile, ''For 
we Catholics believe we have found the light." 
John Henry Newman was born in London, 
England, February 21, 1801. When less than 
sixteen years of age he entered Trinity Col- 
lege, Oxford, where he won a scholarship two 
years later, and took his degree in 1820. In 
1822 lie was elected to a fellowship at Oriel 
College, at that time the highest distinction 
of Oxford scholarship. This advancement 
brought him into touch with many of the most 
distinguished men of the time. Among them 
was Edward Bouverie Pusev, then also a fel- 
low at Oriel, with whom Newman was later to 
be m;ost closely associated in originating and 
promoting the famous Oxford Movement. In 



3821 lie took Deacon's Orders and continued 
with his college duties the curacy of St. 
Clement's church. In 1828 he became vicar 
of St. Mary's, where he exercised a powerful 
influence over the young men of the Univer- 
sity in favor of High Church principles. He 
took a leading part in the Tractarian or Ox- 
ford Movement. Of the ninety tracts written 
in furtherance of the Movement, twenty-nine, 
including the famous ''Xo. 90," which closed 
the series, were the products of his pen. The 
publication of this Tract brought on a fierce 
controversy between Newman and his fi'iends 
among the dignitaries of the Church. They 
finally requested him to retract its contents. 
He refused to do tliis, but consented to dis- 
continue its circulation. His prestige began 
to decline, various events took place which 
tended to alienate him from the Church in 
Avhich he had risen to such high distinction, 
and, four years after the writing of Tract 
Ninety, he connected himself with the Church 
of Rome — driven to this extremity, according 
to those critics who sympathized with his ac- 
tion, ''by the narrowness of English Church- 
men." The Romish ecclesiastics gave him en- 
thusiastic welcome, advanced him from one 
position to another, and finally in 1879 gave 
him a Cardinal's hat. He died in 1890. 



"Le«ad. kindly Light" was written June 16, 
1833, while the author was en route fi'om Pa- 
lermo to Marseilles, on board an orange boat 
becalmed for a week in the Straits of Boni- 
facio. He has given a full account of those 
conditions in the Church at home which op- 
pressed and troubled him, and of his own 
weakness, loneliness, agitation and grave per- 
plexity, at the time he wrote these immortal 
lines, in his Apologia Pro Vita Sua^ pages 32- 
35, American edition of 1893, with a further 
reference to the same event on pages 118 and 
110. This account is intensely interesting, 
but too long for reproduction here in full. 
We give the following brief extracts only : 

"At this time I was disengaged from col- 
lege duties * * * and was easily persuaded 
to join Hurrell Froude and his fathei*, who 
were going to the south of Europe for the 
health of the former. * * * I went down at 
once to Sicily, * * * struck into the middle 
of the island, and fell ill of a fever in Leon- 
forte. My servant thought I was dying, and 
begged for my last directions. I gave them, 
as he wished; but I said, 'I shall not die.* 
I repeated, *I shall not die, for I have not 
sinned against light, I have not sinned 
against light.' I have never been able quite to 
make out what I meant. * ♦ * i got to 




Castro-Giovanni, and was laid np there for 
nearly three weeks. Towards the end of May 
1 left for Palermo, taking three days for the 
journey. * * * I was aching to get home; yet 
for want of a vessel I was kept at Palermo 
for three weeks. * * * At last I got off in 
an orange boat bound for Marseilles. Then 
it was that I wrote the lines, ^Lead. Kindly 
Light,' which have since become well known." 

The circumstances under which it was 
written help to explain the signification of the 
hymn. Newman's heart, overshadowed, op- 
pressed, and deeply agitated by conditions at 
home, affecting both Church and State, was 
yearning intensely for light, rest, and as- 
surance, such as all his High Church princi- 
ples had failed to give him ; and out of that 
intense heart-yearning gushed the utterances 
of ^^Lead, Kindlv Lioht." 

Still, he was endeavoring to work out the 
problem on intellectual lines. Committed as 
he had been for ^ears to High Church and 
Sacramentarian views, and making these the 
fundamental i)rinciples of his reasoning, all 
his rationalizing had led him straight toward 
Rome, although he seems to have known it 
not. He had already practically renounced 
the rij:;ht of private judgment, and, although 
he tells us that, at the time of writing the 

1 86 


hymn, the thought of leaving the Anglican 
Church ''had never crossed his imagination." 
he was even then "a Romanist in all but a 
few })oints on which he inconsistently con- 
tinued to hold iudei^endent opinions for about 
a dozen vears." 

The hvmn was the crv of the author's heart 
for illumination and guidance; and, as such, 
answers to the experience of many a perplex- 
ed, bewildered and oppressed pilgrim on the 
hifi^hwav of life. But Newman's error lav in 
the direction of seeking the illumination and 
guidance he had failed to find in High Eccle- 
siasticism of one form in High Ecclesiasticism 
of another, a corrupter, and a more supersti- 
tious form. May not this explain why the 
eminent ecclesiastic who breathed so fervent- 
ly the prayer, ''Lead, Kindly Light," went 
groping on ''amid the encircling gloom," un- 
til, wearied with his wanderings "o'er moor 
and fen, o'er crag and torrent," he settled 
down to rest in the quagmire of Romish 
superstition and idolatry, mistaking the 
phosphorescent gleams arising from a swamp 
for illumination from the celestial hills? 

Three things have given this production its 
place in the hymnody of the church — its poet- 
ry, its pathos, and the music to which it has 
been wedded. To the music more than to 



anytliing else is it indebted for its great pop- 
ularity as a hymn. An Anglican divine once 
said to Cardinal NeAvman, ^'It must be a 
great pleasure to you to know that you have 
written a hymn treasured wherever English- 
speaking Christians are to be found." After 
a luief silence the Cardinal answered, with 
deep emotion, ^'Yes; deeply thankful, and 
more than thankful.-' Then, after another 
pause, he continued : "But you see it is not 
the hymn but the tune that has gained the 
popularity. The tune is by Dykes^ and Dykes 
was a great master.'' 

The universal character of this hymn is il- 
lustrated in the fact that, ''when the Parlia- 
ment of Religions met at Chicago during the 
Columbian Exposition, the representatives of 
every creed known to man found two things 
on Avhich they were agreed. They could all 
join in the Lord's Prayer, and could all sing 
'Lead, Kindly Light.'"' 

The hymn was a great favorite with Mr. 
Gladstone, and also with the late President 
McKinley. In Union and Madison Squares, 
New York, on the day of the latter 's burial, 
at Canton, Ohio, im.mense throngs were, gath- 
ered reverently to observe the occasion. A 
period of solemn silence passed, after w^hich 
the bands played "Nearer, my God, to Thee" 



—the President's prayer upon his death bed — 
and then, ^'Lead, Kindly Light," another of 
the dead President's favorites, every head re- 

/ €-■■ 

maining uncovered during the solemn and pa- 
thetic sei'vice. 

The following story, told bv Dr. Louis Al- 
bert Banks in his 'Anecdotes and Morals," 
will close our consideration of this hymn : 
*'A little girl of four, with her nurse, was 
walking at the seaside. They came to an in- 
let, and the nurse decided to row across, be- 
lieving that hj so doing she would shorten 
the walk home. When the boat reached the 
opposite side, she put the child ashore, think- 
ing she was but a little distance from home, 
and rowed the borrowed boat back. The dis- 
tance was not great, but was very rouirh and 
difficult for a child so small. She struggled 
on through the coarse grass and heavy sand, 
until at last her mother saw her coming, and 
hurried to meet her. The mother exclaimed: 
^Wereyou frightened, my sweet?' ^I felt very 
lost,' was the reply, ^but I sang, "Lead, Kind- 
ly Light" to myself all the way.' 

"This sweet little story," continues Dr. 
Banks, "suggests to our thought the multi- 
tude of children who have grown taller, who 
are pressing their way through the hard 
thickets of life and the heavy sand of the sea- 



shores of mjsterj^, to whom the Easter hope 
is the ^Lead, Kindly Light' that is nerving 
their souls and inspiring their courage to 
press forward — 

*0'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till 

The night is gone, 
And with the morn those angel faces smile, 
Which they have loved long since, and lost awhile.' " 




Judging from the extent to which it is 
snng throughout all Christendom, as also 
from the length of time it has been used and 
tested, the hvmn beginning, 

"Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah." 

is entitled to rank among those lyrics of the 
Church which will never be relegated to a by- 
gone age. For a hundred and sixty -live years 
or more it has been singing itself around. the 
world, and to-day it has a wider i)opularity 
than ever. Its author, in producing it, left 
to the Church of Christ a legacy of incalcu- 
lable worth. 

The hymn was written by the Rev. AYilliam 
Williams, a celebrated preacher and poet of 
Wales, although it has sometimes been 
mistakenly attributed to Thomas Olivers, 
who comi)Osed the music for it soon after it 
was written. Olivers was a musician, a^ 
well as a preacher and poet. ;nid was also 
himself a Welshman by birth. Having com- 


HY:\rx?^ THAT ARE tm:\iortal 

posed the iiiusic to which the hymn was orig- 
inally sung, it is not altogether strange that 
in time, his name became associated with 
these beautiful stanzas as their author. 

]\rr. Williams was born at Cefncyoed, Car- 
marthenshire, Wales, in 1717. He studied 
medicine, and acquired a good educational 
equipment for his chosen profession. Tender 
the inlluence of a j)Owerful sermon from the 
lips of Howell Harris, in Talgarth church- 
yard, he A\as soundly converted, and with 
his conversion came that call to the Christian 
ministry which changed the whole course of 
his life. At the age of twenty-three he was 
ordained Heacon in the Established Church. 
He was never advanced to ''full orders" in 
the .Establishment — probably because of his 
affinity for and his inclination toward the 
Methodists. Encouraged by Whitefield and 
l^adv Huntingdon he finallv became a Metho- 
dist itinerant pieacher, at thirty-two years 
of age. "He possessed the warm heart and 
glowing imagination of a ti'ue Welshman, 
and his sermons abounded with vivid pictur- 
ing, and, always radiant with the presence 
of his divine ]\raster, they produced an extra- 
ordinary effect on susceptible Welshmen.'' 

Associated with such men as Harris and 
Rowlands, ardent and incessant in all his 



labors, and endowed in a high degree witli 
Welsh eloquence, poetic genius and the 
choicest gift of song, he very naturally be- 
came popular with his countrymen and exert- 
ed a powerful influence over them. During 
half a century he inured himself to the toils, 
trials, disappointments, sacrifices and hard- 
ships of an itinerant ministry, his ardor 
never abating nor his zeal flagging, until, in 
1791, he i)assed to be with his adorable Mas- 
ter forever. He is said to have traveled ''on 
an average two thousand two hundred thirty 
miles a vear. for fortv-three vears. when there 
were no railroads and few stage coaches.-' 

As a hymn-writer Williams did for Wales 
what Watts and Wesley did for England and 
what Luther did for Geimany — inaugurated 
a new era in religious hynmody and in the 
Church's devotional song. 

The time of his dei)arture found him fully 
prepared to go. His end was a i)eaceful and 
blessed realization of what he had prayed for 
as he wrote, 

•'When I tread the verge of Jordan 
Bid my anxious fears subside." 

The hymn was written in or about the year 
1745. At any rate it was first puV)lished that 
vear. at Bristol, in a hvmn-book ])ublishe(l bv 



Mr. \> illiams under the title of ^'Alleluia." 
It was originally written in the Welsh lan- 
<4uai>e, witli five verses of six lines each. The 
following is a copy of the hymn in its orig- 
inal tougne, for which w^e are indebted to 
Julian's "Dictionary of Hymnology :" 

'North i fyned tricy'r AnialwcJi. 

Arglwydd, arwain twry'i* anilwch 

Fi bererin gwael ei wedd, 
Nad oes ynof north na bywyd, 

Fel yn gorwedd yn y bedd : 

Ydyw'r un a'm cywd i'r Ian. 

Colofn dan rho'r nos i'm harwain, 

A rbo'r golofn miol y dydd ; 
Dal fi pan b\Yy'n teithio'r manan 

Geirwon yn fy ffordd y sydd : 
Rho iini fanna, 

Fel na bwyff yn llwfrhan. 

Agor y fr'ynnonan niehis 

Sydd yn tarddu o'r Graig i maes ; 

'Rhyd yr anial mowr canlyned 
Afon iacbawdwrineth gras : 

Rho imi hyny ; 
Dim i mi ond dy fwynhan. 

Pan bwy'n myned trwy'r lorddonen — 

Angen creulon yn ei rym, 
Fi est trwiddi gj-nt dy hunan, 

P'am yr ofnaf bellach ddim? 

Gwna imi waeddi yn y llif ! 



Ymddirieilof yn dy alln, 

Ma^yr gw'r gwaith a wnest erioed : 
Fi gest angau, ti gest uffern, 

Fi gest Satan dan dy droel : 
Pen Calfaria, 

Nac aed hwnw byth o'm cof. 

Prom the authority above quoted we also 
learn that the hymu was first translated (in 
part only) into English by Peter Williams, 
also a Welsh minister, and printed for him at 
Carmarthen, 1771, as follows : 

Guide me, Thou great Jehovah, 
Pilgnm thro' this barren land : 

I am weak, but Thou art mighty, 
Hold me with Thy powerful hand ; 

Bread of heaven, 
Feed me till I want no more. 

Open Thou the pleasant fountains, 

Where the living waters flow ; 
Let the river of salvation 

Follow all the desert thro' : 
May Thy presence 

Always lead and comfort me. 

Lord, I trust Thy mighty power. 
Wondrous are Thy works of old; 

Thou deliver'st Thine from thraldom, 
Who for nought themselves had sold: 

Thou didst conquer 
Sin and Satan and the grave. 


These stanzas are translations of stanzas 
1, 3 and 5 of the original. William Williams 
himself adopted the translation of verse 1, 
translated 3 and 4 (and added another) into 
English, and then printed the whole in leaflet 
form, as follows: 


Sung By 

Lady Huntingdon's Young Collegians 

Printed hy the desire of many Christian friends 

Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah, 
Pilgrim through this barren laud: 

I am weak, but Thou art mighty. 
Hold me by Thy powerful hand ; 

Bread of heaven, 
Feed me till I want no more. 

Open now the crystal fountain, 

Whence the healing streams do flow; 

Let the fiery, cloudy pillar 

Guide me all my journey through ; 

Strong Deliverer, 
Be Thou still my strength and shield. 

When I tread the verge of Jordan, 

Bid ray anxious fears subside ; 
Death of deaths and hell's destruction, 

Land me safe on Canaan's side. 
Songs of praises 

I will ever give to Thee. 



Musing on nij' habitation, 

Musing on my heavenly home. 
Fills my heart Avith holy longing ; 
Come, Lord Jesus, quickly come. 
Vanity is all I see. 
Lord. I long to be with Thee. 

Tune— "Guide." 

In this form the hymn appeared iu Lady 
Huntinodon's Collection, 1772, in George 
AVhitetield's "Psalms and Hymns,'' 1773, in 
Conyer's Collection, 1771, and in others, of 
almost every communion, until, changed into 
the form in which it is now generally sung, 
it has become one of the most extensively 
used hymns of Christendom. Speaking of 
the chant:;e in the third line of the third 
stanza from ''Death of deaths, and hell's 
destruction" to ''Rear me through the swell- 
ing current,'' ^fr. Butterworth justly depre- 
cates it as producing "an inferior picture for 
the singer, wliatever it may be to the rhetori- 

The hymn, in one form or another, has 
been translated into many languages, but 
always from tlie English. "These translations 
include the Rev. R. Bingham's rendering of 
it into Latin, under the title, Magne tu, Je- 

In Paxton Hood's ''Christmas Evans, the 
Preacher of Wild Wales.'' various specimens 



of Mr. Evans's allegorical sermonizing are 
given, among which are extracts from his ser- 
mon on ''Satan Walking in Dry Places.'^ The 
object of the discourse seems to have been 
tliat of sliowing how a mind preoccupied with 
holy thoughts and asi>irations is fortified 
against the intrusion of evil suggestions from 
the I'rince of Darkness. After describing 
Satan as a vast, invisible, and wicked spirit, 
moving about in the realm of moral darkness 
and seeking opportunity to insinuate himself, 
through the avenues of sense, into some un- 
suspecting soul and lure it to destruction, he 
sees him fix his fiery but invisible glance upon 
a lad, in the rosy blush of health and in- 
nocence, as he sits upon the box of his cart 
driving to the quarries for slate or lime. 

ii 'There he is,' said Satan ; 'his veins are full 
of blood, his bones are full of marrow. I will 
cast my sparks into his bosom, and set all his 
passions on fire; I will lead him on, and he 
sliall rob his master, and lose his place, and 
find another, and rob again, and do worse; 
and he shall go on from worse to worse, and 
then his soul shall sink, never to rise 
again, into the lake of fire.' But just then 
as lie was about to dart a fiery temptation 
into the heart of the youth, the evil one heard 
him sing, 



'Guide mo, O Thon ^'eat .Teliovah. 

Pilgrim through this barren land ; 
I am weak, but Thou art mighty. 

Hold me by Thy powerful hand ; 
Strong Deliverer, 
Be Thou still my strength and shield.' 

'Oh, but this is ii dry place,' said the fiery 
dragon as he fled away." 

It was allegory indeed^ but allegory true to 
the experience of thousands who have, 
through the singing of this precious bymn, 
been safeguarded from the cruel wiles and 
fierv darts of the wicked one. 

A minister's wife lay dying in England in 
1883. From her eiditeenth year she had been 
a deyoted Christian, and, since her marriage, 
had also been a faithful helper of her husband 
in his work. "I am not afraid to die," she 
said, as the end drew near, ''but, if it pleases 
our heavenly Father, I should like to have 
greater joy. Pray for me that I may feel 
very happy." The hymn we are considering 
had been sung not long before by an audience 
from a screen on which it had been thrown by 
a magic lantern. The last three davs of her 
illness she was greatly comforted and helped 
by the words of the last stanza, which were 
much upon her mind : 



"When I tread the verge of Jordan, 
Bid my anxious fears subside; 
Death of deaths, and hell's destruction, 
Land me safe on Canaan's side ; 

Songs of praises 
I win ever give to Thee." * 

Thus, through the ministry of Mr. Williams's 
immortal lyric, her desire was granted, and 
in great happiness she passed from earthly 
scenes to mansions in the skies. 




No Other hymn of the Church is so gener- 
ally <tud deeply engraven on the hearts of the 
Scottish people as Rous's metrical version of 
the twenty-third Psalm, of which the follow- 
ing is a reproduction: 

The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll' not want, 

He makes me down to lie 
In pastures green ; He leadeth me 

The quiet waters by. 

My soul He doth restore again ; 

And me to walk doth make 
Within the paths of righteousness, 

Ev'n for His own name's sake. 

Yea, though I walk in death's dark vale, 

Yet will I fear no ill : 
For Thou art with me ; and Thy rod 

And staff me comfort still. 

My table Thou hast furnished 

In presence of my foes ; 
My head Thou dost with oil anoint, 

And my cup overflows. 



Goodness and mercy all my life 

Shall snrely follow me : 
And In God's bouse forevermore 

My dwelling place shall he. 

Tune— "Evan." 

''Its author is said to be Francis Rous, 
once the Lord of Halton Hall, near the banks 
of the Taniar, Cornwall, and he is described 
as 'legislator, divine, privy councilman, one of 
Cromwell's triers of clerical candidates. Pro- 
vost of Eton, member of Cromwell's Tapper 
House and author of the "Metrical Version 
uf the Psalms" authorized to be used by the 
Scotch Presbyterians.' To one acquainted 
with the lovelv varieties of scenery around 
his Cornish home, it would seem as though 
the river-side verdure, the meadows, gardens, 
all lieli)ed to inspire his muse as expressed 
in the first verse'- (Stevenson). 

Fcr many generations this touching and 
beautiful lyric has been dear to Scotia's 
virile sons, wherever their lot has fallen or 
whatever their circumstances may have been. 
It has ever "accompanied them from child- 
hood to age, from their homes to all the seas 
and lands where thev have wandered, and has 
been to a multitude no man can number the 
rod and staff of which it speaks, to guide and 
uuard tliem in dark vallevs, and at last 
through the darkest." 



In his early manhood the writer was em- 
ployed by a deyont old Scotchman who, dur- 
ing: the latter part of this time, was slowly 
wasting away from a lingering" and painful 
disease. Although deyout, as we haye said, 
and an honored member of the ^*kirk" from 
early years, yet the old gentleman was much 
troubled in those trying days oyer the fact 
that he had neyer had any assurance of his 
acceptance with God. as also in remembering 
that he had been far too worldly — or, as he 
forcibly expressed it, eyen when on his knees 
in prayer had too oft allowed his heart to be 
awa' after its coyetousness. 

For some weeks it was his custom to re- 
quest us to spend an hour each day after din- 
ner conyersing on spiritual things, reading 
the Scriptures, and singing from the metrical 
version cf the Psalms. His favorite was the 
She})hcrd Psalm, — 

"The Lord's my Shepherd. I'll not want. 
He makes me down to lie 
In pastures green ; He leadeth me 
The quiet waters by." 

He was always melted to tears during the 
singing of the Psalm, and ^yould express the 
comfort he derived from the exercise in 
strong and pathetic terms. At last the light 
of God came to his heart with ''full assur- 



ance," and be was able to sing, witb an ap- 
preciation be never realized before, 

"Yea. though I walk in death's dark vale. 
Yet will I fear no ill : 
For Thou art with me; and Thy rod 
And staff me comfort still." 

Obeered bv tbis sweet assurance be finally 
passed tbrougb the valley of sbadows witbout 
a fear, in boly peace, and witb tbe furtber as- 
surance expressed in tbe last couplet of tbe 

"And in God's house forevermore 
My dwelling place shall be." 

Tbe Rev. Jobn Watson (Tan Maclaren) re- 
lates a storv wbicb also beautifullv illus- 
trates tbe attacbment of tbe Scottish people 
to tbis particular bymn. It is of an old Scot 
who, in bis illness, bad demanded of bis pby- 
sician tbe trutb concerning bis condition, and 
was informed tbat recovery was impossible. 
On pressing tbe matter furtber and demand- 
ing to know wben tbe end would come, tbe 
doctor expressed tbe oi)inion tbat it would 
be early tbe next morning. 

"Aboot daybreak," said tbe pious Scot, in 
a tone expressing willingness to die and par- 
ticular satisfaction at the prospect of passing 
to tbe better land witb tbe rising of tbe sun. 



During the afternoon a godly English wo- 
man, having learned of the old man's illness 
and loneliness, called on him in the hospital, 
ottered her sympathy, and suggested that pos- 
sibly the singing of a few verses from some 
hynm like "Rock of Ages'' might afford him 
comfort. But the dear old man, true to the 
tradition of his fathers, had stoutly opposed 
the singing in worship of anything but the 
Psalms of David all his life, and. though, 
politely thanking the good woman for her 
kindness, said : 

''A' ma days hev I been protestin' against 
the use o' human hymns in the praise o' God ; 
a've left three kirks on that account and 
raised me testimony in public places, and 
noo wud ve send me into eternitv wi' the 
sough o' a hymn in ma ears?" 

Then he declared his willingness, so long as 
strength remained, to argue with the good 
woman concerning the lawfulness of singing 
human hymns. Too wise to enter disputation 
with a dying man, she suggested that they 
talk not about things wherein they differed, 
told him she was ignorant of how the Scots 
regarded the singing of uninspired hymns, 
and then mentioned to him a visit she had 
made to the Highlands where she heard the 
singing of the Psalms and was moved to tears 



by the grave, sweet melody which poured 
from the hearts of a strong and pious people. 
"I can understand," she said, "how jou love 
the Psalms and how dear to you is your met- 
rical version." 

"As she spoke the old hard Scot's face be- 
gan to soften, and one hand which was lying 
outside the bed-clothes repeated the time of a 
Scot's psalm tune. He was again in the coun- 
try church of his boyhood and saw his father 
and mother going into the table seats and 
heard them singing: 

*0 thou my soul, bless God the Lord, 
And all that in me is 
Be stirred up his holy name 
To magnify and bless.' 

"More than that, I know some of your 
psalm tunes and I have the words in my 
hymn-book ; perhaps I have one of the Psalms 
which vou would like to hear.' 

" 'Did ye think ye cud sing the twenty- 
third I*salm, 

"The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll not want"? 

for I wud count it verra comfortin.' 

" 'Yes/ she said, 'I can, and it will please 
me very much to sing it, for I think I love 
that Psalm more than any hymn.' 


thp: shepherd psalm 

" ^It never runs dry/ mnrmnred the Scot. 

''So she sang it from beginniug to end in a 
low, sweet voice, slowly and reverently, as 
she heard it snng in Scotland. He joined in 
no word, bnt ever he kept time with his hand 
and with his heart, while his eyes looked into 
the things that were far away. 

""After she ceased, he repeated to himself 
the last two lines : 

'And in God's liouse forevermore 
My dwoiling-place shall he.' 

"• Thank ve, thank ve ' he said, after a lit- 
tie panse, and then both were silent for a few 
minntes, because she saw that he was in his 
own country, and did not wish to bring him 
back again bv her foreij:;n accent. 

'^ 'Mem, ye've dune me the greatest kind- 
ness onv Christian cud do for anither as he 
stands on the banks of the Jordan.' 

'Tor a minute he was silent again, and 
then he said : 

" ^A'm gaein' to tell ye somethin', and a' 
think ye'll understand. ^la wife and me was 
married thirtv-five vears, and ilka nicht of 
oor married life we sang a Psalm afore we 
gaed to rest. She took the air and a' took 
the bass, and we sang the Psalms through 
frae beginning to end twa times. She was 



taken trap me ten years ago, and the uicht 
afore she dee'd we sang the twenty-third 
rsjilni. A've never sung the Psalm since, and 
1 didna join avI' ve when ve sang it, for a'm 
waitin' to sing it wi* her new in oor Father's 
hoose the mornin's mornin' whar there'll be 
nae nicht nor partin' evermore." 

''And this is how one English woman found 
out that the Scot is at once the dourest and 
the tenderest of men.'' 

Mr. Stead regards the most impressive in- 
stance of tliis hymn's helpfulness in times of 
crisis as that contained in the story of Mar- 
ian Harvey, a servant lass of twenty, who, 
with Isabel Alison, was executed at Edin- 
burgh for having attended the preaching of 
Donald Cargill. and for aiding in his escape. 
''As the brave lassies were being led to the 
scaffold, a curate pestered them with his 
])rayers. 'Come. Isabel,' said Marian, 'let us 
sing the twenty -third Psalm.' And sing it 
tliey did, a thrilling duet on their pilgrimage 
to the gallows tree. It was rough on the 
Covenanters in those days, and their paths 
did not exactly, to outward seeming, lead 
them by the green pastures and still waters. 
But thev got there somehow, the twentv-third 
Psalm helping them no little." 






Among modern hvmns of highest rank and 
widest popiihiritv few hold a more exalted 
place than 

"now firm a foundation, re saints of the Lord, 
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word." 

It is ^^one of the noblest lyrics and richest 

possessions of the Christian Chnrch" in this 


«• • 

The origin of the hymn is involved in much 
obscurity. It has been variously ascribed to 
Kirkham, Keith and Keene. As originally 
published, in Rippon's Collection, 1787, the 

only signature appended to it was ^'K ." 

Thomas Kirkham published a collection of 
hymns in 1788, but that work is said not to 
contain this hvmn ; nor has anv reliable evi- 
dence ever been furnished, so far as we can 
find, in support of Kirkham's authorship. 
Keith's authorship was originally suggested 
by Daniel Sedgwick, a second-hand book-sell- 
er of London, and a hymnologist of high re- 



pule in liis time; but, although his opinion 
carried sufficient authority to become an es- 
tablished tradition, it api)ears to have been 
a mere guess, based on the fact that Keith 
was a London book-seller, K was the initial 
of his name, and an old woman in an alms- 
house had made a statement to Mr. Sedgwick 
affirming Keith's authorship. 

To the late H. L. Hastings, of Boston, a 
well known editor and publisher of anti- 
infidel literature, and compiler of a large 
hymnal known as "Songs of Pilgrimage," be- 
longs the credit of having T\TOught out the 
most rational solution of this problem. The 
story of his effort is too long to be repeated 
here. The sum of it all is as follows : While 
preparing "Songs of Pilgrimage" he exam- 
ined not only Rippon's h^mn-book, but his 
tune-book as well. He noticed that in the 
hymn-book the tune "Geard" was given as 
that to which the hymn in question should be 
sung, and that in the tune-book the tune 
"Geard" Avas credited to R. Keene. This sug- 
gested the thought that possibly Keene was 
also author of the hvmn. Comparing the 
hymn and tune they seemed as if made for 
each other, and the evidence seemed to point 
80 conclusively to Keene's authorship that he 
inserted the hymn in "Songs of Pilgrimage'* 



with the orijTjinal tune, placing; under it the 
signature, "K. Keeue(?).'' 

Visiting' London in 1880, Mr. Hastings, in 
an interview with the venerable Charlee (Jor- 
delier, gathered from his recollections that 
Keene was once J)r. Rippon's precentor, and 
also other facts which seemed to be sufficient 
confirmation of the conclusion reached from 
his own previous research. "In view of all 
the facts," said Mr. Hastings, "we think we 
may consider the question settled, and defi- 
nitely assign the authorship of the hymn to 
R. Keene, a precentor in Dr. Rippon's church, 
the author of the tune 'Geard,' to which it 
was sung.-' 

Dr. Julian, in preparing his "Dictionary 
of Hymnology." came ui)on other evidence 
which apj)ears to be confirmatory of Mr. Has- 
tings's solution. In Dr. Fletcher's Baptist 

Collection of 1882 he found the "K " of 

Rippon's Collection having the form of "Kn," 
and, in the edition of 1835, still further ex- 
tended to "Keen ;" "while in the preface Dr. 
Fletcher stated that he was greatly assisted 
by Thomas Walker, and acknowledged his ex- 
tensive acquaintance with sacred poetry." 
Walker is said to have been Dr. Rippon's pre- 
centor, and also editor of his tune-book con- 
taining the tune "Geard." In view of all these 




thiiifl^s Dr. Julian considers that Dr. Walker 
based his ascription of Keen's authorship 
upon actual knowledge of the facts, and gives 
it as his verdict that "we are justified in con- 
cluding that the ascription of this hymn 
must be that of an unknown person of the 
name of Keen." 

The following is the text of the hvmn, 
which was originally entitled, "Precious 
Promises :" 

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, 
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word! 
What more can He say than to you He hath said. 
You who unto Jesus for refuge have tied? 

In every condition — in sickness, in health. 
In poverty's vale, or abounding in wealth ; 
At home or abroad : on the land, on the sea — 
*'As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever 

"Fear not : I am with thee ; O be not dismayed ! 

1, I am thy God, and will still give thee aid; 

I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to 

Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand. 

"When through the deep waters I call thee to go, 
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow ; 
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless, 
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress. 

"When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie. 
My grace, all-sufficient, sliall be thy supply ; 



The flame shall hnrt thee — I only desig^i 
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine. 

"E'en down to old age, all my people shall prove 
"My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love : 
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn. 
Like lambs they shall still in my bosom be borne. 

"The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose, 
I will not, I will not, desert to his foes; 
That soul, though all hell shall endeavor to shake. 
I'll never — no never — no never forsake." 

Tune — "Portuguese Hymn." 

The hTmn is based upon several passages 
of scripture. The first is 2 Peter 1:4: 
"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great 
and precious promises," etc. The next is 
Isaiah 41 : 10 : ''P>ar thou not ; for I am with 
thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I 
will strengthen thee; yea, I will uphold thee 
with the right hand of my righteousness." 
Another is Isaiah 43 : 2 : "^Vhen thou passest 
through the waters, I w41I be with thee ; and 
through the rivers, they shall not overflow 
thee: when thou walkest through the fire,' 
thou shalt not be burned ; neither shall the 
flame kindle upon thee; for I am the Lord 
thv God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Sa- 
vior.'' The last is Isaiah 4G : 4 : "And even 
to your old age I am He; and even to hoary 
hairs will I carry you : I have made, and I 
will bear; even I will carry and deliver vou.'' 



The tlioroiigh vscriptnralness of the i)ro(lii('- 
tion, and also its preeminent adaptation to 
ministering.' inspiration and comfort to Iried 
and tempted sonls in all the successive sta|»es 
and amid all the changeful vicissitudes of the 
Christian pilgrimage, are undoubtedh' the 
chief elements of its extensive popularity. 

From the "Western Sketch-book," by James 
Gallagher, who mentions therein a visit to 
General Jackson in the Hermitage in Sep- 
tember 1843, Dr. Duffield quotes the follow- 
ing in his "English Hymns :" 

"The old hero," says Dr. Gallagher, "was 
then very frail, and had the appearance of 
extreme old age ; but he was reposing with 
calmness and confidence on the i)romise and 
covenant of God. He had now been a mem- 
ber of the church for several years. During 
the conversation which took place General 
Jackson turned to Mr. (iftllagher and remark- 
ed : 'There is a beautiful hymn on the sub- 
ject of the exceeding great and precious 
j)roniises of God to His people. It was a 
favorite hvmn with mv dear wife, till the day 
of her death. It commences thus : 

"How firm a foundation, ye saints or the Lord." 

J wish you could sing it now.' So the little 
company sang the entire hymn in its seven 



Tims was the maj»'nificent lyric we have 
been considering made to minister comfort 
and hope to the distinguished soldier and 
statesman 'in age and feebleness extreme." 

The following incident was related in the 
t^undajj- school Times of December 7, 1891, by 
Lieutenant-Colonel Curtis Guild, Jr., late In- 
spector-general of the Seventh Army Corps, 
and is reproduced in ''Studies of Familiar 
Hvnins :" 

"The corps was encamped along the hills of 
(^uemados, near New Havana, Cuba. On 
r'hristmas eve of 1808 Colonel Guild sat be- 
fore his tent in the balmy tropical night, 
chatting with a fellow officer of Christmas 
and home. Suddenly from the camp of the 
Forty-ninth Iowa rang a sentinel's call, 
*Nuniber ten ; twelve o'clock, and all's well I' 

" ^It was Christmas morning. Scarcely 
had the cry of the sentinel died away, when 
from the bandsmen's tent of that same regi- 
ment rose the music of an old, familiar hymn, 
and one clear barytone voice led the chorus 
that quickly ran along those moonlit fields : 

'IIow firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord !' 

Another voice joined in, and another, and an- 
other, and in a moment the whole regiment 
joined in with the Fourth VirginiU, and all 



the rest, till there, on the long ridge above the 
great city whence Spanish tyranny once went 
forth to enslave the New World, a whole 
American corps was singing: 

'Foar not ; I am with thee, O be not dismayed ; 
I, I am thy God, and will still give thee aid; 
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to 

T^pheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.' 

" 'The northern soldier knew the hvmn as 
one he had learned beside his mother's knee. 
To the southern soldier it was that and some- 
thing more; it was the favorite hymn of Gen- 
eral Robert E. Lee, and was sung at that 
great commander's funeral. 

" 'Protestant and Catholic, South and 
North, singing together^ on Christmas day in 
the morniniir, — that's an American army!''' 

After rehearsing the foregoing incident Dr. 
Benson appropriately adds: ''If any one has 
felt a sense of impropriety in divorcing the 
old Christmas music from its proper words, 
surely he may feel that it came to its own 
again that morning. Such an incident, and 
what it implies, inclines rather to tlie hope 
that 'How firm a foundation' ma^^ never cease 
to be sung among us, and that it may never 
be set to any other tune." 




Had William Cowper never achieved any- 
thing else of distinction his production of the 
hvmn beginning, 

"God moves in a mysterious way, 
His wonders to perform," 

would have rendered his name familiar in ev- 
ery Christian household of the English speak- 
ing world to latest generations. It holds the 
highest rank of all the hymns of its illus- 
trious author, although ^'There is a fountain 
filled with blood'- is more generally known 
and more popularly used in public worship. 
The hvmn is not onlv elevated, finished, and 
charming in itself, but, as ^lontgomery has 
said, is '^rendered awfully interesting b}' tJie 
circumstances under which it was written — 
the twilight of departing reason." 

The author of the hymn was born at Berk- 
hamstead, Hertfordshire, England, in 1731. 
His father was tlie Rev. John Cowper, at one 
time chaplain to King George II. His moth- 



er, wlio traced her pedigree back to King 
Henry III., died when he was but six years 
old. TJeing naturally very delicate and sen- 
sitive, his bereavement weighed upon him to 
snch an extent that, as a mere boy, he became 
deeply melancholy. This condition was so ag- 
gravated that his after life was deeply shad- 
owed in consequence and through unpleasant 
experiences endured for some years in school 
at Westminster. The sorrow occasioned by 
his mother's death never ceased to weigh 
upon him. and years after the sad occurrence, 
in viewing one of her juctures, he recalled the 
anguish his young heart experienced when 
that sore bereavement fell upon him and 
beautifully expressed the same in verse : 

"My mother! when T learned that thou wast dead, 
Say, wast thou const-ions of the tears I shed? 
Hovered thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son— 
Wretch even then, life's journey just he^n? 
Perhaps thou gavest nie, though unseen, a kiss, 
Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss. 
I heard the bell tolTd on thy burial day, 
I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away I 
And, turning from my nursery window, drew 
A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu." 

While in Westminster he acquired consid- 
erable classical education, and in addition to 
his school requirements, translated the whole 



of TTomer's "Iliad and Odyssey.'' On leav- 
ing Westminster lie was apprenticed to an at- 
torney for three years. This was not his own 
but his father's choice, and the profession of 
the law not bein" to his liking he was not as 
attentiye to it as he might haye been to some- 
thing more congenial to his tastes and incli- 

Some years after the conclusion of his law 


course he was eligible to the position of clerk 
to the House of Lords, which had been se- 
cured for him through family influence. He 
was expected to qualify for the position by 
taking an examination, but the shrinking of 
his timid and sensitive nature from the or- 
deal of a formal examination so agitated and 
depressed him that he fell into a state of 
mental disorder and failed to appear. His de- 
pression was so great that he even attemi)ted 
suicide, in which act of desperation he failed 
for lack of courage. From this time on to 
the close of his life Cowper was subject to 
seasons of terrible des])ondency and despair, 
at times regarding himself as haying commit- 
ted the unpardonable sin and believing him- 
self as hopelessly lost as though in hell al- 

After his first attack he was placed in a re- 
treat conducted by Dr. Cotton, a poet and 



philanthropist, under whose judicious treat- 
ment and advice he was not only delivered 
from his mental disorder, but was also led 
to find peace T\'ith God through Jesus Christ. 
He was ever afterward a devout and earnest 
Christian, and, except during his intervals 
of mental aberration, was bright, cheerful 
and companionable, and withal an eager stu- 
dent and an earnest and fruitful worker in 
the cause of Christ. In devoutness he was 
not surpassed by Wesley, although the hit- 
ter's naturally cheerful temperament and his 
own constitutional tendency to melancholy 
places Cowper at a disadvantage in such a 

Cowper was not merely a religious hymn- 
writer but a poet of the highest rank in his 
day, and an able prose writer as well. He in 
England and Burns in Scotland are credited 
with having inaugurated that epoch in Eng- 
lish literature in which poetry was recalled 
from Artificialism to Naturalism. Cowper's 
poetry is always "eminently healthy, natural 
and unaffected." Besides being eminent as 
a poet he has also been characterized as "the 
most delightful letter-writer in the English 
language, the charm of whose epistles noth- 
ing can surpass — full of humor, gentle sar- 
casm, anecdote, acute remark, and a tender 



^ I i 

shadow of melancholy thrown over and ton- 

iug down the whole." 

In 17G7 Cowper took np his residence in 
Olney, where a most intimate friendship 
sprang np between him and the Rev. John 
Newton, tlie cnrate of that place. Cowper 
was a constant attendant at the services in 
jlr, Newton's church, and was especially 
faithful in attending- the cottage praj'er-meet- 
ings, for which most of his hymns are said to 
Iiave been written. The collection commonly 
known as the ''Olney Hymns" was their joint 
production, seventy-eight of them coming 
from Cowper's pen. '^He also translated 
many of the hvmns of ^ladame Guion." 

Cowper's last contributions to the ^'Olney 
Hymns" was ''God moves in a mysterious 
way." It is said that in one of his melan- 
choly moods he determined to end his life by 
drowning, and hired a post-chaise to take him 
to a certain place on the river Ouse where 
the desperate deed was to be accomplished. 
By some unaccountable providence the driver 
missed his way, and so the poor man returned 
to his home without having carried out his 
purpose, whereupon he wrote this remark- 
able hj'mn. Probably this account is more or 
less legendary, although the hymn doubtless 
celebrates some remarkable interposition of 



providence on behalf of its author. Follow- 
ing is the full text of the hymn : 

Ootl moves in a mysterious way 

II is ANOinlers to i>erfoi'ni : 
He plants His footsteps in the sea, 

And rides upon the storm. 

Deep in unfathomable mines 

Of never-failing skill, 
He treasures up His bright designs. 

And works His sovereign will. 

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take: 

The clouds ye so much dread 
Are big with mercy, and shall 1)reak 

In Vdessings on your head. 

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, 

But trust Him for His grace: 
Behind a frowning providence 

lie hides a smiling face. 

His purposes will ripen fast. 

Unfolding every hour : 
The bud may have a bitter taste, 

But sweet will be the flower. 

Blind unbelief is sure to err. 

And scan His work in vain : 
God is His own interpreter, 

And He will make it plain. 

Tune — "Dundee." 

Literary critics ojenerally regard this as 



the siibliiiit'Ht hyiini over written in (("lebra- 
tioii of divine ]»r<)vi(lence. Tlie late Tl'onias 
James P^ield. an eminent authority on En<i- 
lisli literature, said of it: "To be the author 
of such a hvmn as 'God moves in a mvsterious 
way' is an aehievement that angels themselves 
mi<iht envy." Montgomery characterized it 
as **a lyric of high tone and character.'' 
"Classable with the best of sacred songs" and 
'•the sublimest of all hymns on Divine Provi- 
dence" are Colonel Smith's characterizations 
of the production. 

Strangely enough, however, the hymn en- 
countered not only a critic but a hypercritic 
in the late Dr. Richard Watson, the eminent 
theologian, who, in his "Life of Wesley.'' 
I page 277 1, mercilessly deals with the fifth 
stanza. lie says: "This is a figure, not only 
not found in sacred inspired i)oetry. but 
which has too much p)rttinrss to be the 
vehicle of a divine thought, and the verse has 
moreover the fault of an absurd antithesis, 
as well as of false rhyme.'' Sound as Dr. 
Watson, generally was in matters of criti- 
cism, he seems to have erred seriously hei-e. 
At least he has not been sustained in his ver- 
dict by those best competent to judge in such 
matters since his day. "The rhyme is allow- 
able," savs Dr. Tillett, "and the fii^ure of the 



bitter-tasting bud and the sweet-smelling 
flower is not onlv true to nature, but admir- 
ably adapted to expressing, in fine poetic sen- 
timent, the thought in the mind of the poet: 
'\Vliat T do thou knowest not now, but thou 
shalt know hereafter/'- The hymn would 
certainly be incomplete without this stanza> 
and it has secured altogether too strong a 
hold upon the Christian world to be sur- 
rendered because of an}- hypercritical attacks 
Ihat may be made upon it. 

In 1777 this hymn appeared in the Gospel 
Magazine, erroneously credited to ^'^liss Us- 
sington, late of Islington, who died May 
177r>,'' and with the following stanza added: 

*'Wlien midiiislit shades are all withdrawn, 
The opening day shall rise, 
Whose e^er calm and cloudless morn 
Shall know no low'ring skies." 

Who was responsible for the error will prob- 
ably never be known. The lady referred to 
may have composed the added stanza, and 
this mav have led to the entire hvmn being 
unintentionally ascribed to her. The added 
stanza is no improvement of the hymn. 

Various singular and suggestive incidents 
and associations cluster around this popular 
Christian lyric which serve to illustrate its 



power and value. "It was often sung during 
the cotton famine" [in England, in 1865, fol- 
lowing the Civil War in the United States], 
says ^rr. Stead, "and there are few persons 
who can not recall times and seasons when 
its comforting assurances helped to give forti- 
tude and tranquillity to the soul." During the 
cotton famine referred to one of the Lanca- 
shire mill owners called his emplo^X'S to- 
gether and informed them that he must close 
the mills. To close them meant his ow^n fi- 
nancial ruin, and much suffering from pover- 
ty !o the operatives. The situation was such 
a painful one, when the announcement came, 
that none could speak, and for a time silence 
reigned. At last, however, there rose out of 
the oppressive stillness the clear voice of a 
girl — a teacher in the Sunday-school — and 
as she sang in faith and hope, 

"Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take. 

The clouds ye so much dread 
Are big with mercy, and shall break 
In blessings on your head," 

the oppressive spell was broken, and new 
inspiration and hope took possession of all 

The late Dr. Charles Cullis, founder of the 
Faith Cure Consumptives' Home in Boston, 



was on one occasion in great financial straits 
in the midst of his extensive enterprises. He 
spread tlie matter before the Lord, and his 
prayer was answered in a remarlvable way. 
One man sent him a four and one-half per 
cent United States bond for |1,000 and a four 
per cent United Stares bond for |500, |1,500 
in all, saying this would cover his subscrip- 
tion, which, b}^ the wav, was for |400 only; 
and in the same mail came a letter from an- 
other man, a stranger to Mr. Cullis, enclosing 
|1.00 to cancel his subscription, and saying 
tlmt, although the amount was small, the 
Lord could multiply it a thousand fold. This 
letter proved to have been written before the 
one enclosing the larger amount. The Lord 
did indeed multii)ly the smaller offering a 
tliousand fold. Jn recording this remark- 
able divine interposition Dr. Cullis concluded 
with the words, 

"God moves iu a mysterious way 
His wonders to perform." 

Dr. Russell H. Conwell, in his Life of 
Charles H. Spurgeon relates the story of 
how Richard Knill, a devout minister, on 
visiting at the Spurgeon home when Charles 
was a lad, took such an interest in the boy as 
left an indelible impress upon his after life, 



and how he also predicted the boy's future 
greatness as a preacher, the hymn we are con- 
sidering' figuring conspicuously in the ac- 
count. Mr. Knill. it is said, took the lad with 
him for quiet walks repeatedly, talked with 
him seriously but tenderly on the subject of 
religion, knelt and prayed with him, and in 
various ways exhibited a passionate desire 
to win him for Christ. Taking the lad upon 
his knee one dav he said : "I do not know how 
it is, but I feel a solemn presentiment that 
this child will preach the gospel to thousands, 
and that God will bless him to many souls. 
So sure am I of this that when he preaches 
in Rowland HilTs chapel, as he will do one 
day, I should like him to promise me that he 
will give out the hymn commencing, 

'God moves iu a mysterious way 
His wonders to perform.' " 

Mr. Knill desired young Spurgeon to learn 
the hymn by heart, regarding it as applicable 
to the thini::s Cod would work out for him 
and through him in his future career. It is 
said to have been predicted by ^Ir. Knill that 
the lad in whom he took so deep an interest 
would one day speak in the largest church in 
the world — a prophecy which was literally 



Is it not strange indeed that a hymn which 
has cheered so many thousands of troubled 
and despairing hearts should have been the 
production of one who was by nature melan- 
choly and a goodly portion of whose life was 
spent in dejection and under the horror of 
hopeless despair? But so it is, and this very 
circumstance is both a corroboration and an 
illustration of the truth expressed in the first 
cou|)let of the hymn. Poor Cowper! Thou 
didst teach us to sing, 

"God is His own interpreter. 
And He will make it plain ;" 

and we doubt not that he has long ere this 
made forever |)lain to thee the mystery of all 
those years of darkness and despair through 
which thine earthly pathway led. 

The following stanzas from Mrs. Brown- 
ing's touching and beautiful elegy on "Cow- 
per's Grave" are appropriate in closing: 

"It is a place where poets crowned may feed the 
heart's decay ini?. 
It is a place where happy saints may weep amid 

their praying : 
Yet let the grief and humbleness, as low as silence 

languish I 
Earth surely now may give her calm to whom she 
gave her anguish. 



**0 iK)ets! from a mniiiac's tongue was poured the 

deathless singiiii^I 
O Christians I at your cross of hope, a hopeless 

hand was clinging! 
O nien I this man in brotherhood your weary paths 

Groaned inly while he taught you peace, and died 

while ye were smiling I 

'With quiet sadness and no gloom I learn to think 

upon him, 
With meekness that is gratefulness to God whose 

heaven hath won him — 
Who suffered once the madness-cloud to His own 

love to blind him ; 
r»ut gently led the blind along where breath and 
bird could find him." 



gkrhardt's nobi,e hymn of trust 

Among the numerous hymns inciting to 
steadfast trust in Divine Providence probably 
none has been more extensively blessed to 
the encouragement and inspiration of tried 
and tempted souls than I*aul Gerhardt's 
hymn, beginning, as rendered into English 
bv John Weslev, 

"Commit thou all thy griefs 
And ways into His hands.'' 

It is given in two parts in the Hymn Rook, 
the second part beginning with the lines, 

"(jive to the winds thy fears, 
Hope, and be undismayed." 

The hvmn is based on Fsalm 87 : 5 : ^*Com- 
mit thv way unto the Lord : trust also in Him, 
and He shall bring it to pass." Gerhardt 
composed it, in German, in 1659, and Wes- 
ley translated it into English in 1739. 

The full text of Part First is as follows: 



Commit thou al! thy griefs 

And waj's into His hands. 
To His sure trust and tender care. 

Who earth and heaven commands : 
Who points the clouds their course, 

Whom winds and seas obey, 
ITe shall direct thy wanderinc: feet. 

He shall i)rei>are thy way. 

Thou on the Lord rely. 

So safe Shalt thou go on. 
Fix on His work thy steadfast eye. 

So shall thy work be done. 
No profit canst thou gain 

By self-consuming care ; 
To Him commend thy cause. His ear 

Attends the softest prayer. 

Thine everlasting truth, 

Father. Thy ceaseless love. 
Sees all Thy children's wants, and knows 

What best for each will prove ; 
And whatso'er Thou will'st. 

Thou dost, O King of Kings ! 
What's Thine unerring wisdom's choice. 

Thy power to being brings I 

Thou everywhere hast sway. 

And all things serve Thy might ; 
Thine every act pure blessing is, 

Thy path unsullied light. 
When Thou arisest, Lord. 

What shall Thy work withstand? 
When all Thy children want, Thou giv'st ; 

Who, who shall stay Thy hand? 

Tune— "Golden Hill." 



"The origin of the hjmn is in itself such 
a remarkable proof of the blessing of trusting 
jn Providence, * * * that it can not be 
omitted in this place. Paul Gerhardt was a 
preacher in Brandenburg, 1659, and he loved 
to preach from his heart what he believed. 
The Great Elector admonished him, and 
threatened his banishment if he would not 
preach as the Elector desired. Gerhardt re- 
turned a message to his sovereign that it 
would be hard to leave his home, his people, 
his countrv and his livelihood ; but he vrould 
only i^reach what he found in the word of 
God. So into banishment he was sent, with 
his wife and children. 

"At the end of the first day's journey, 
they rested at a little inn for the night. The 
little ones were crying and clinging to their 
mother, and she also, overcome with fatigue, 
could not restrain her tears. The sad sight 
gave Gerhardt a very heavy heart, so he went 
alone into the dark wood to commend the 
whole to God. Whilst there his mind was 
comforted with the text, ^Commit thy way 
unto the Lord : trust also in Him, and He 
shall bring it to pass.' ^Yes,' he said, ^though 
banished from house and home, and not know- 
ing where to take my wife and children on 
the morrow, vet God sees me in the dark 



Avood; now is the time to ti'ust Iliin.' He 
was so liappv that he liad remembered the 
text, and so thankful to God that lie made 
the text, in connection with his saddening 
lot, into a hymn, as he paced to and iro 
among the trees. Every verse begins with 
a word or two from the text, so that if von 
would read the first words of each verse in 
the German, yon just read the text. 

''When he returned into the house, he told 
his wife about the text, and repeated to her 
his hymn. She soon dried up her tears (the 
children having gone to sleei»|, and became as 
liopeful and trustful in God as her husband. 
They had scarcely retired to rest when a 
loud knockintr was heard at the door. The 
landloid, on opening the door, found a mes- 
senger on liorseback, who said aloud, 'I come 
from Duke Christian of Meresburg, and um in 
search of Paul Gerhardt; has he passed this 
wav?' 'Yes/ said the landlord, 'he is in mv 
house.' 'Let me see him instantiv,* said the 
Duke's messenger, A large sealed letter was 
at once handed to the banished pastor from 
the good T>uke Christian, who said in it. 
'Come into my country, Paul Gerhardt, and 
you shall have church, peo}>le. house, home, 
and livelihood, and liberty to preach the gos- 
pel as your heart may prompt you.' So the 
Lord took care of His servant." 



What a remarkable verification of the prom- 
ise contained in the text so powerfully im- 
pressed upon the banished preacher in his 
dire extremity! What a remarkable illus- 
tration also of the sentiment expressed in 
Ihe entire hvmn I ''Thev that trust in the 
Lord shall never be confounded." 

Part Second, which we regard as in some 
respects superior to Part First, breathes the 
same sweet spirit of submission and trust, 
and leads on our faith step by step, and from 
one degree of strengtii to another, until all 
doubt, and fear, and "self-consuming care" 
are banished, and over all the trusting soul 
is "more than conqueror.-' The text is as 
follows : 

Give to the winds thy fears ; 

Hope, aiifl be undismayed : 
God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears : 

God shall lift up thy head. 
Through waves, through clouds and storms, 

lie gently clears tho way : 
Wait thou His time : so shall the night 

Soon end in joyous day. 

Still heavy is thy heart? 

Still sink thy spirits down? 
Cast off the weight, let fear depart, 

And every care be gone. 
What though thou rulest not : 

Yet heaven, and earth, and hell. 



Proclaim, God sittetli ou the throne, 
And ruletli all things well. 

Leave to His sovereign sway 

To choose and to command ; 
So Shalt thou, wondering, own His way, 

How wise, how strong His hand I 
Far, far al)ove thy thought 

His counsel shall appear. 
When fully He the work hath wrought 

That caused thy needless fear. 

Thou seest our weakness, Lord, 

Our hearts are known to Thee ; 
O lift Thou up the sinking hand, 

Confirm the feeble knee I 
Let us in life, in death, 

Thy steadfast truth declare ; 
And publish, with our latest breath, 

Thy love and guardian care. 

Xunieroiis are the instances in which this 
sturdy vet tender hymn has aHaved fear, 
banished anxiety, alleviated suffering, consol- 
ed grief, inspired faith and kindled hope in 
seasons of extremity and in the hour of death. 

T\'illiani Dawson, the farmer Methodist 
preacher of Barnbow, Leeds, England, after 
a useful career of nearly seventy years, was 
suddenly prostrated with a fatal illness. His 
last utterances were the closing words of this 
admirable hymn, — 

"Let us in life, in death. 

Thy steadfast truth declare." 



He attempted to repeat the closing couplet — 

"And publish with our latest breath 
Thy love and guardian care," 

but the poAver of utterance failed him, and, 
with his hands crossed upon his breast in 
peace, he closed his eves on earth to open 
them in heaven. 

The Rev. Isaac Bradnack, a Weslevan mis- 
sionary, born near Birmingham. England, in 
1774, after years of usefulness in a foreign 
field, spent the last few years of life in his 
native land. During his final illness, when 
his strength failed, he saw his daughter at 
his bedside weeping. Suddenly turning to 
her he said, with earnest look, *'My dear 
Betsy, why are you weeping? 

'Oive to the winds thy fears: 

Hoi^e, and l)o undismayed ; 
God hears thy sighs, and counts thy tears ; 

God shall lift up thy head.' '* 

After this he conversed with her on the 
subject of sanctification, emphasizing ''puri- 
fi/ — purify.'' Then, with much energy, he re- 
peated — 

"Tlie fire our graces shall refine," 

and soon afterward entered into the rest that 
remaineth for the ])eop]e of God. 



The following "legend of the raven" is also 
related by Mr. Stevens in his "Methodist 
Hymn-Book Illustrated'' : "In a village near 
Warsaw there lived a pions German i)easant 
named Dobry. Without remedy he had fallen 
into arrears of rent, and his landlord threat- 
ened to evict him. It was winter. Thrice he 
appealed for a respite, but in vain. It was 
evening, and the next day his family were to 
be turned out into the snow. Dobry kneeled 
down in the midst of his family. After pray- 
er they sang — 

"Commit Ibou all thy griefs 
And ways into His hands." 

As they came to the verse, in German, 

"When Thou wouldst all our needs suppiV, 
Who, who. shall stay Thy hand?" 

there was a knock at the window close by, 
where he knelt, and opening it Dobry was 
met by a raven, one which his grandfather 
had tamed and set at libertv. It its bill was 
a ring, set with precious stones. This he took 
to his minister, who said at once that it Ix^- 
longed to the King, Stanislaus, to whom 
he took it, and related the story. The king 
sent for Dobry, juid rewarded him, so that 



he had no need, and the next year built him a 
new house, and gave him cattle from his own 
stall. Over the house door, on an iron tab- 
let, there is carved a raven with a ring in 
its beak, and underneath this address to Di- 
vine Providence: 

"Tbou overyvvbere hast sway, 

And all things serve Thy might; 
Thy every act pure blessing is, 
Thy path unsullied light." 






Luther's battle-hymx 

To Martin Luther, the great reformer, be- 
longs the honor of liaving produced the great- 
est battle-hymn of the Christian Church — 

''Eiii festc Burg, ist miser Gott," 

the common English rendering of which is, 

"A mighty fortress is our God." 

It was called forth by the troubled and ex- 
citing times through which its author and his 
fellow-workers passed in the midst of the 
great Reformation of the sixteenth century, 
and has been appropriately characterized by 
Heinrich Heine as "the Marsellaise of the 

Numerous translations of this hymn into 
English have been attempted, but those best 
competent to judge affirm that but two really 
successful renderings have appeared, the first 
by Thomas Carlyle, printed in his "Luther's 
Psalm," in 1881. and the other by the Rev. 



Frederick Henrv Hedge, a Unitarian clergy- 
man of the United States, in 1852, which ap- 
peared in the second edition of Dr. Furness's 
^'Gems of German Verse." In 1853 Dr. Hedge 
included it in his "Hymns for the Church of 
Christ" in the form in which it now appears 
in various church hvmnals. Although Car- 
Ivle's translation is in several respects the 
best English rendering, yet Dr. Hedge's is 
the more commonly found in English and 
American hymn-books, being the better adapt- 
ed for use in the song services of the Church. 
This translation is as follows: 

A mighty fortress is our God, 

A bulwark never failing; 
Our helper He amid the flood 

Of mortal ills prevailing: 
For still our ancient foe 
Doth seek to work us woe ; 
His craft and power are great 
And, armed with cruel hate, 

On earth is not his equal. 

Did we in our own strength confide, 

Our striving would be losing ; 
Were not tlie right ]Man on our side. 

The Man of God's own choosing: 
Dost ask who that may be? 
Christ Jesus, it is lie; 
Lord Sabaoth- is Tlis name. 
From age to age the same, 

And He must win the battle. 



And tliouirb this world, with devils filled, 

Should threaten to undo us ; 
We will not fear, for God hath willed 

His truth to triumph through us : 
The prince of darkness grim, — 
We tremble not for him ; 
His rage we can endure, 
For lo ! his doom is sure, 

One little word shall fell him. 

That word above all earthly powers, 

No thanks to them, abideth ; 
The Spirit and the gifts are ours 

Through Him who with us aideth : 
Let goods and kindred go, 
This mortal life also; 
The body they may kill : 
God's truth abideth still. 

His kingdom is for ever. 

Tune — "Ein Feste Burg." 

The traditional account of the origin of 
this hymnic masterpiece gives Liitlier's jour- 
ney to the Diet of Worms as the occasion of 
its composition. It was on this journey that 
Luther, warned by a messenger from Spahitin 
not to enter the city, sent back by the same 
messenger the reply, ^'Were there as many 
deyils in Worms as there are tiles on the 
roofs of the houses, T would go and not be 
afraid. If Huss was burnt to ashes, the 
truth was not burnt with him." The same 
sentiment occuiTing in the third stanza of 
the hymn seems to ha^'e given currency to the 



popularly received account of its origin. 
Stroni*- as the temptation is, however, to as- 
sociate the composition of the hymn with the 
momentous occasion referred to, it is im- 
})robal)le that it originated on that occasion, 
since the hymn does not appear among Lu- 
ther's earlier hymns as published in 1524, 
three years after the convocation of the as- 
semblv known as the Diet of Worms. 

In his "History of the Reformation" J. 
Merle d'Aubigne with much assurance gives 
the journey to the Diet of Augsburg in 1530 
as the occasion on which the hymn was com- 
])Osed. Tu Rook XIV. of the single volume 
edition of that remarkable work, on page 474, 
its brilliant author tells us that Luther, in 
company with John the Elector of Saxony, 
was on his way to the Augsburg assembly 
when he wrote the hymn, and describes the 
srene in detail as follows: "John began his 
journey on the third of April, with one hun- 
dred and sixty horsemen, clad in rich scarlet * 
cloaks, embroidered with gold. Every man 
was aware of the dangers that threatened 
the Elector, and hence many in his escort 
marched with downcast eyes and sinking 
f^earts. But Luther, full of faith, revived the 
com^age of his friends, by composing and sing- 
ing with his fine voice tluit beautiful hymn, 
since become so famous: 


u;thi:k's p>attijvHYmx 

Ein frsic Bmfi ht UHscr Oott. 

Oiii' (iud is a Strong- lower. Xever did .soul 
that knew its own weakness, but wliich, look- 
inji' to God. despises every fear, find sueli 
noble accents." 

l>ee]>ly interesting as this account is. and 
niucli as we may dislike to think of the re- 
nowned and usually accurate D'Aubigne as 
in error in the foregoing descrii)tion, it is 
true nevertheless that the facts do not, 
upon close investigation, warrant the account 
given. In tlie first place the very character 
of the hymn, as also Luther's painstaking ef- 
forts in all his lyrical compositions, forbid 
our belief that this matchless masterpiece was 
an impromptu production. Another consid- 
eration fatal to the foregoing account is the 
fact, established by the investigation of hym- 
nologists. that before the date of the Diet of 
Augsburg Luther's immortal battle-hymn had 
already appeared in print. That Luther sang 
it to revive the courage of his friends on their 
way to the Diet of Augsburg is every way 
])robable, but that he comi)osed it on that 
occasion is equally incredible. From the fact 
of its having been sung under the foregoing 
circumstances, and also in view of its not 
then being in as common use as it was later, 
it is not strange that its composition came 



to be popularly ascribed to the same occasion. 
Another account quite generally accepted 
by hymnologists says that ''Luther composed 
it for the Diet of Spires, when, on April 20, 
1529, the German princes made their formal 
protest against the reyocation of their liber- 
ties, and so became kno\\n as Protestants." 

''Various monographs haye been publish- 
ed," says Dr. Benson in his ''Studies of Famil- 
iar Hymns," ''adyocating other dates and oc- 
casions. L^ndeterred by these, Scherer, the re- 
cent historian of German Literature, states 
with entire confidence that the hymn was 
written in October, 1527, at the approach of 
the plague. Luther's biographer, Julius Kost- 
lin, in the later editions of the Life, accej)ts 
that date as probably correct. And with that 
probability we must rest." 

While this seems to settle the matter sat- 
isfactorily to Dr. Benson, we must insist that 
internal eyidences seem to indicate that the 
hymn was written in anticipation or on the 
occasion of some great crisis connected with 
the progress of the Reformation. There are 
many expressions in the hymn that lose in 
significance when interpreted on any other 
ground, and there is little that can be re- 
garded as applicable to the yisitation of the 
jilague without torturing it out of its most 



natural meaDing. AVe are still inclined to 
think tlie second Diet of Spires was the oc- 
casion which called it forth. 

For the benefit of those readers who, being 
familiar with the German tongue, will aj)- 
predate the hymn much more in the original 
than in anv of its translated forms, the Ger- 
man text will here be presented, as found in 
Julian's "Dictionary of Hvmnologv'' : 

Eiu' feste Burg ist unser Gott. 

ein giite webr und Avaffen. 
Er hilfft unns frey aus aller not 
die uns ytzt hat betroffen, 
Der alt buse feind 
mit ei'DSt ers ytzt meint, 
gros macbt und viel list 
sein grausam riistung ist, 
auf erd ist nicht seins gleichen. 

Mit unser macht ist nicbts getban, 

wir sind gar bald veloren ; 
Es streit fur uns der recbte man, 
den Gott bat selbs erkoren. 
Fragstu, wer der ist? 
er heist Jbesvi Christ 
der Herr zebaotb, 
und ist kein ander Gott, 
das felt Liis er bebalten. 

Und wen die welt vol Teuffell wehr 
und wort uns gar verscbliugen 



So fiircbteii wir mis nk-lit zii sehr 
OS sol iins docli gelingeii. 

Der Fiirst dieser welt. 

wie sawr er sich stellt. 

tliut er uiiiis (loch nicbt, 

das macht, ei* 1st gericht, 
ein wortlin kaii ybn follen. 

Das wort sie sollen lassen stahii 

imd keiu daiick dazii liabeii. 
Er ist bey luiiis wol auff deiu plan 
init seinem geist und gabeii. 
Xemen sie den, leib. 
gut, ebr, kindt mind wfib 
las faren dabin, 
sie babeiis kein gewin. 
das reicb nms nns dodi hleiben. 

Tlie Refonuatioii of the sixteenth century 
marks an entirely new era in riiristian hvm- 
nodv — an era riclier and more influential in 
Its lyrical productions than any other in the 
history of Christianity. Luther was the chief 
inspiration of this new era, in its earlier 
years, as he was the leading sjiirit and the 
chief insj)iration of the great Reformation it- 
self. "It is my intention, after the example 
of the Fa tilers," he said in writing to Georg 
Spalatin, liis friend and fellow-laborer, '"to 
make German Psalms for the i)eople; that is 
to say, sj)iritual songs, whereby the word of 
God may be kept aliye among them by sing- 



m*^. We seek, lliei'efore, everywhere for 
poets. Now as yon are siuli a master of the 
(lernian language, and are so mighty and 
eU)qnent therein, T entreat yon to join hands 
with ns in this work, and to turn one of the 
Psalms into a hymn according to the pattern 
I /. r., an attempt of my own), that I send 
von. l>nt 1 desire that all new-fangled words 
from the court be left out; that the words 
may be quite plain and common, such as com- 
mon people may understand, yet ])ure and 
skilfully handled ; and next that the meaning 
should be given clearly and graciously, ac- 
cording to the sense of the Psalm itself 
("Hymns Historically Famous"). 

As Luther was the chief inspirer of this 
new era in Christian hvmnodv, so his *'Ein 
feste Burg ist unser Oott" was the climax of 
his own lyrical contributions to the literature 
of the Reformation period. He is generally 
believed to have composed the majestic tune 
to which the hymn has ever since been sung, 
and both hymn and tune seem to have been 
especially inspired for strengthening the 
faith and stimulating the courage of the re- 
formers during the long, fierce conflict they 
endured in defense and promulgation of those 
essential tiMiths which the Reformation rej)- 
resented, P>eing a fine singer and a skilful 



composer, and possessing a high degree of 
magnetic enthusiasm in urging congrega- 
tional singing upon the people, he gave re- 
markable zest to the singing of the German 
nation, and, in a corresponding degree, called 
forth and enlisted in the cause he represent- 
ed the best hvmn-making talent of the coun- 
try. "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" be- 
came the battle-song, however, of those dark 
and troubled times, and exerted an influence 
upon the German people bevond all computa- 

''In the life and death struggle that fol- 
lowed [the protestation of the German 
princes against the revocation of their lib- 
erties at the second Diet of Spires], it was 
a clarion summoning all faithful souls to do 
battle, without fear, against the insulting 
foe. Luther sang it to the lute every day. 
It was the spiritual and national tonic of 
Germany, administered in those dolorous 
times as doctors administer quinine to so- 
journers in fever-haunted marshes. Every 
one sang it, old and young, children in the 
{^itreet. soldiers on the battlefield. The more 
heavily hit they were, the more tenaciously 
did the}^ cherish the song that assured them 
of ultimate victory. When Melancthon and 


his friends, after Luther's death, were sent 



into banishment, tliey were marvelouslv 
cheered as they entered Weimar on hearing 
a girl sing Luther's hymn in the street. 'Sing 
on, dear daughter mine,' said Melancthon; 
'thou knowest not what comfort thou bring- 
est to our heart'" (Stead). 

Luther sang it often as an expression and 
inspiration of his faith during the pro- 
tracted session of the Diet of Augsburg in 
li5.30, and it soon became a favorite psalm 
with the German people, the strains of which 
daily ascended up to heaven alike from the 
palaces of princes and humbler dwellings of 
the i)oor. "It was sung by poor Protestant 
emigrants on their way into exile, and by 
martyrs at their death. It is woven into the 
web of the history of Reformation times, and 
it became the true national hjmn of Protes- 
tant Germany." 


The associations of this hymn, during its 
subsequent history are full of interest and 
serve to illustrate its remarkable influence 
and incomparable value. In 1031, more than 
a hundred years after its composition, Gus- 
tavus Adolphus, on the eve of his great 
and decisive victory over the Roman Cath- 
olic forces at Leipsic, requested his soldiers 
to sing this hymn of the great reformer; 
and after the gaining of the victory he thank- 



ed God for having made good the promise 
expressed in the words, ''The field he will 
maintain it." On the field of that same bat- 
tle the hymn was repeated, more than two 
hundred years later, by the multitude as- 
sembled at the jubilee of the Gustavus Adol- 
phas Association. "Again,** says Dr. Ben- 
son, "it was the battle livmn of his armv at 
Liitzen, in 1632, in which the king was slain, 
but his arm.v won tlie victory. It has had a 
part in countless celebrations commemora- 
ting the men and events of the Reformation ; 
and its first line is engraved on the base of 
Luther's monument at Wittenburg. And it 
is still dear to the German people; one of the 
hymns lodged in their memories and hearts, 
ready for the occasion. An imperishable 
hymn I not polished and artistically wrought, 
but rugged and strong like Luther himself, 
whose very words seem like deeds.'' 

David Xitschmann.a Moravian bishop, was 
one of the passengers on board the ship in 
which John AA'esley sailed for Georgia in 
1735. He was then about sixty years of age. 
"In 1720," says Tyerman, in his "Life and 
Times of Wesley," "a remarkable revival of 
religion took place in the town where David 
lived ; but, by the intervention of the Jesuits, 
the meetings of the new converts were pro- 



hibited, and many who attended them were 
imprisoned in stables, ceHars and other of- 
fensive phices. A police officer entered Nitsch- 
mann's house, where one hundred and fifty 
of these godly people were assembled, and 
seized all the books within his reach. The 
congregation at once strnck up a stanza of 
one of Luther's hymns [Ein feste Burg'] : 

'If the whole world with devils swarmed, 

That threatened ns to swallow. 
We will not fear, for we are armed. 
And victory will follow.* 

Twenty persons, including David, all heads 
of respectable families, were arrested and 
sent to jail. For three days David was de- 
prived of food, and was so cruelly ironed that 
the blood spurted from his nose and mouth, 
and oozed from his very pores. After some 
time he escaped from his horrid dungeon, and 
fled to his friends at Hernhutt." 

A hvmn that can brace and sustain faith 
and make it triumphant in such conditions 
must have in it the element of a divine in- 
spiration that will make it live forever. 




Wherever the English tongue is a medium 
for the worship of God there old and young 
alike and together sing, with an enthusiasm 
that kindles to an ever intenseir glow as the 
music moves toward its culmination, the Rev. 
S. Baring-Gould's grand I*rocessional Hymn, 
of which the following is the text : 

Onward, Christian soldiers! 

Marching as to war, 
With the cross of Jesus, 

Going on before. 
Christ, the Royal Master, 
Leads against the foe; 
Forward into battle 
See His banners go. 

Onward, Christian soldiers, 

Marching as to war, 
With the cross of Jesus 
Going on before. 

At the sign of triumph 

Satan's host doth flee ; 
On then, Christian soldiers, 

On to victory : 


i»roceSkSIOxal hymn 

Hell's fonndations quiver 

At the shout of praise : 
Brothers, lift your voices, 

Loud your anthem raise. 
Onward, etc. 

Like a mighty army 

Moves the Church of God ; 
Brothers, we are treading 

Where the saints have trod ; 
We are not divided, 

All one hody we, 
One in hope and doctrine, 

One in charity. 
Onward, etc. 

Crowns and thrones may perish. 

Kingdoms rise and wane, 
But the Church of Jesus 

Constant will remain : 
Gates of hell can never 

'Gainst the Church prevail : 
We have Christ's own promise. 

And that cannot fail. 
On\^•ard, etc. 

Onward then, ye people. 

Join our happy throng, 
Blend with ours your voices 

In the triumph-song ; 
Glory, laud and honor 

Unto Christ, the King ; 
This through countless ages 

Men and angels sing. 
Onward, etc. 

Tune— "St. Gertrude." 



The Rev. Sabine Bai*ing;-Gould, author of 
the hymn, is a prominent clergyman of the 
dnircli of England. He was born at Exeter, 
in ISiU; graduated, as Master of Arts, at 
('hire College. Oxford, in 1856; ordained as 
Deacon in 18G4 and as Priest in 18G5 ; made in- 
cumbent at Dal ton in 18G6, and rector at East 
^lersea in 1871. At the death of his father, 
ICdward Baring-Gould, in 1872, he succeeded 
to the family estate at Lew-Trenchard, 
Devonshire, which has been the family seat 
foi" o\er three hundred years. He became 
rector at Lew-Trenchard in 1881. He is a 
])rolific writer, having published more than a 
score of volumes from his own pen. He is a 
master in the realm of '^legendary and folk 
lore, antiquities and out-of-the-way informa- 
tion, of Avhich he is himself a living encyclo- 
pedia.-' His ''Curious Myths of the ^liddle 
Ages'' is one of his most widely known pro- 
ductions. It has been his custom for some 
time io produce a new work of fiction every 
year, and his works are said to have greater 
Ijopularity in England than any others of 
their class. He has published several vol- 
umes of sermons, which are well received, 
and is also the author of a number of excel- 
lent hymns, of which "Onward. Christian 
Soldiers,'' is the most popular. 



Mr. Bai-ing-Oould has given the following 
account of how his popular Processional 
Hvnin came into existence: ''It was written 
in a very simple fashion, without a thought 
of publication. Whitmonday is a great day 
for school festivities in Yorkshire, and one 
Whitmonday it was arranged that our school 
should join its forces with that of a neigh- 
boring village. I wanted the children to sing 
Avhen marching from one village to another, 
but couldn't think of anything quite suit- 
able, so T sat up at night resolved to TSTite 
somethins: mvself. 'Onward, Christian Sol- 
diers,' was the result. It was written in great 
haste, and I am afraid some of the rhvmes are 
faulty. Certainly nothing has surprised me 
more than its great popularity.'' 

A processional hymn is one suited to a 
marching movement, and Mr. Baring-Gould's 
vigorous and inspiring stanzas most adrair- 
ablv meet the demand for such a hvmn. Hence 
its almost universal use, and its great popu- 
larity with Americans in particular. "It has 
been taken up all the world over," says Dr. 
Robinson, "and with either Haydn's or Sulli- 
van's music set to it, it constitutes the best 
maa^ching hymn for children or adults known 
to this generation. It meets the American 
ideal, mechanically speaking, in that it is. 



simple, rythmical, lyric, and has a refrain 
at the end of each stanza. That has given to 
it an extensive popularity and use." 

The hymn was written in 1865, and, in its 
original form, contained six stanzas, what 
was then the fourth being now generally 
omitted. The omitted stanza runs as follows : 

"What the saints established 

That I hohl for true, 
What the saints believed 

That believe I too. 
Long as earth endureth 

Men that faith will hold, — 
Kingdoms, nations, empires, 

In destruction rolled." 

Its poetry scarcely compares with that of 
the other stanzas, and this may be what the 
author had in mind when expressing his own 
fears that some of the rhymes were faulty. 
The hymn seems quite complete without it, 
and its omission therefore is not only ex- 
cusable but wise. The hymn has obtained a 
popularity which seems to make for its im- 
mortality. "•If it should ever drop out of 
use," says Dr. Benson, ''that result would 
l)robably come about through sheer weariness 
caused by over-repetition." 








Of all livmns ever written in the interest 
of foreij^u missions the chief place must be 
given to Bishop Heber's princely lyric, 

"From Greeulaud's icy uioimtains." 

Eternitv alone will reveal the extent to 
which the cause of world-wide evangeliza- 
tion has been furthered by the instrumental- 
itv of this noble i)roduction. Oft as the storv 
of its origin has been related it will bear an- 
othei' repetition here. 

Early in the year 1811) a royal letter was 
issued authorizing special collections to be 
taken in every church and chapel of Great 
Britain for the aid of foreign missions. Whit- 
sunday of that year fell on the 30th of May, 
and on that occasion Dr. Shii)ley, Dean of 8t. 
Asaph, was to take the offering for missions 
in the parish church of Wrexham, of which 
he was ihe vicar. He had also arranged for 
a course of Sunday evening lectures in his 
church to begin on the evening of that day, 

263 • 


and his son-in-law, the Rev. Reginald Heber, 
then rector at Hodnet, and later Bishop of 
Calcutta, was present to deliver the opening 

Sometime during the previous day the 
Dean, his son-in-law, and a few others were 
together in the vicarage, when the Dean ask- 
ed Heber to write '^something for them to 
sing in the morning." He retired at once 
to another part of the room and seated him- 
self to his task. After a short time the 
Dean inquired, ''^Vhat have 3'ou written?" 
Having written the first three stanzas of the 
hymn, Heber read them over. 'There, that 
will do," said the Dean. *'No, no," replied 
Heber, "the sense is not complete," and pro- 
ceeded to add the fourth stanza. He would 
have written more had not the Dean been 
inexorable to his repeated request of "Let me 
add another, O let me add another." So with 
the fourth stanza he completed the hymn 
which has since become so widely and justly 
celebrated. It was sung the next morning in 
the Wrexham church, tradition says to an 
old ballad tune, " 'Twas when the seas were 
roaring," and that was the beginning of its 
marvelous history. 

The following is the text of the hymn, 
altered but slightly from its original form : 



From Greenland's icy mountains, 
From India's coral strand, 
Where Afric's sunny fountains 
Roll down their golden sand. 
From many an ancient river, 

From many a palmy plain. 
They call us to deliver 
Their land from error's chain. 

What though the spicy breezes 

Blow soft o'er Ceylon's isle ; 
Though every prospect pleases, 

And only man is vile : 
In vain with lavish kindness 

The gifts of God are strown : 
The heathen in his blindness 

Bows down to wood and stone. 

Can we, whose souls are lighted 

With wisdom from on high. 
Can we to men benighted 

The lamp of life deny? 
Salvation I O salvation I 

The joyful sound proclaim, 
Till each remotest nation 

Has learned Messiah's Name. 

Waft, waft, ye winds His story. 

And you, ye waters, roll. 
Till like a sea of glory 

Tt spreads from pole to pole ; 
Till o'er our ransomed nature 
The Lamb for sinners slain. 
Redeemer, King, Creator, 
In bliss returns to reign. 

Tune — "Missionary Hymn." 



The tune to which this great hymn is now 
generally sung has had much to do with the 
usefulness of the hymn, and it has a history 
in interest equal to that of the hymn itself, 
In February, 1823, the hymn found its way 
to this counti\v and appeared in the Chris- 
iian Ohscrvcr. Through this circumstance it 
fell under the eye of Miss Mary W. Howard, 
a lady living in Savannah, Georgia, who saw 
in it great jmssibilities, and eagerly desired 
1o have it sung in worship. She could find 
no tune for it, however^ that seemed apjjro- 
priate. Finally she called to mind a young 
bank clerk in the city who had some local 
reputation as a composer of church music. To 
him she sent a copy of the hymn with a note 
requesting him to furnish for it an appropri- 
ate tune. In response he composed for it, 
within half an hour, as the story goes, the 
now famous tune "Missionary Hymn,'' which 
he had printed as sheet music, bearing the 
inscription, "Composed for and Dedicated to 
Miss Mary W. Howard, of Savannah, Geor- 
gia." That young bank clerk was Lowell 
Mason, then a little past thirty years of age, 
who was destined to become the foremost 
composer of sacred music ever produced in 
this country. The hymn and tune, having 
been most fortunately wedded, have ever helj)- 



I ' I : 

ed to popularize each other. They have sim^ 
themselves around the world repeatedly, and 
the appropriateness of their union is to-day 
more widely recognized than ever. l^>oth aj*- 
pear to have been born of a sudden inspira- 
tion, and encli ;is tlio cdunterjiart of Ihe 

As interest in foreign missionary work in- 
creases throughout Christendom IJishop lle- 
ber's hymn has an ever widening sj)here of in- 
fluence, and an ever growing ]»opularity. As 
an incitement to self-sacrificing endeavor in 
the interest of world-wide evangelization it 
is without an equal. The last stanza in par- 
ticular is ^'a glorious bugle blast wliich rings 
like the recclUe of the millennial morning ;'' 
and the whole hymn has been most aptly 
characterized bv Dr. Theodore L. Cuvler as 
"the marching music to which Christ's hosts 
keep step as they advance to the conquest of 
the world." 

It is said that during the great revival of 
1858-59 a number of converted sailors on 
board the steamshi}) North Carolina were 
conferring together regarding the various 
lands in which they were born. When it was 
discovered that they represented ten differ- 
ent countries^ and that the last one who had 
spoken was born in Creenland. unable longer 



to restrain tlieir emotions, one of them led 
and the rest simultaneously joined in singing, 

"From Greenland's icy mountains, 

From India's coral strand, 
Where Afric's sunny fountaina^ 

Roll down their golden sand ; 
From many an ancient river, 

From many a palmy plain, 
They call us to deliver 

Their land from error's chain." 

We can easily imapne with what a joyous 
feryor those hardy seamen, hailing from so 
many widely separated parts of the world, 
so recently rescued from their liyes of sin, 
and now filled with the peace and joy of di- 
yine acceptance, made the strains of this 
grand old hymn ring out oyer the waters on 
which they sailed. 

In the year 1852 Bishop Andrew, of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, sent out from 
the South Carolina conference two preachers 
to represent and establish the work of his 
denomination on the Pacific Coast. Not 
alone the natiye population, but also the mul- 
titudes then flocking from all parts of the 
world to California, the land of gold, were 
in great need of missionary efforts; and the 
polyglottal gathering there of people from 
every land made it a particularly opportune 




season for the establishment and spread of 
]MethodisiQ in that region. A mission to Cal- 
ifornia in those days involved about as much 
of self-denial, sacrifice, hardship and peril as 
an appointment to a foreign field would mean 
to-dav. In the midst of their loneliness one 


of the missionaries wrote home regarding the 
progress of the work. His letter contained 
an account of the joy it gave him one Sunday' 
afternoon in 1853, while traveling in the 
Santa Clara Vallev, to hear a man and his 
wife from South Carolina singing in front of 
their tent, — 

AYaft, waft, ye winds His story, 

And you, ye waters, roll. 
Till like a sea of glory, 

It spreads from pole to pole : 
Till o'er our ransomed nature, 

The Lamb for sinners slain. 
Redeemer, King, Creator, 

Shall come in bliss to reign." 

There was a melody in the hymn on that oc- 
casion to be ai)preciated fulh' only by such 
as may have heard it sung under similar cir- 
cumstances. Not all the natural beauty of 
the country, with its sunny skies, its enamor- 
ing landscapes, and its luxuriance of flowers, 
foliage and fruit, on which their senses had 
feasted for months, had ever once regaled 



them as did the echoing strains of that sweet 
song under those conditions. It was to them 
the breath of a new life with which to prose- 
cute their self-denving hibors for the salva- 
tion of their fellow men. 



Messiah's uxiversal keigx 

Next to Heber's roval missionary liyiuii Dr. 
Isaac Watts's lyrical rehearsal of the bless- 
ino:s which are to attend ^[essiah's universal 
reign upon earth has probably done more 
than any other in aid of foreign missionary 
work. It is sung in missionary meetings the 
wide world over, and always with inspiring 
effect. The following is the text : 

.Tesns shall reign where'er the sun 
Doth His successive journeys run : 
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore 
Till moons shall wax and wane no more. 

■ From north to south the i»rinces meet 
To pay their homage at His feet : 
YSMiile western emjiires own their Loi-d, 
And savage tribes attend His word. 

For Him shall endless prayer be made. 
And endless praises crown His head: 
His name, like sweet perfume, shall rise 
With every morning sacrifice. 

People and realms of every tongue. 
Dwell on His love with sweetest song; 



And infant voices shall proclaim 
Their early blessings on His name. 

IJlessings abound where'er He reigns ; 
The prisoner leaps to lose his chains ; 
The weary find eternal rest. 
And all the sons of want are blest. 

"Where He displays His healing power, 
Death and the curse are known no more ; 
Tn Him the tribes of Adam boast 
-More blessings than their father lost. 

The hymn is based on and breathes tlie 
!^]>irit of the Seventh-second Psalm. It was 
the author's custom to translate the more 
evangelical of the Old Testament Psalms into 
metrical hymns suited to the spirit and needs 
of the New Testament dispensation and of 
the varied departments of the Church's work. 
He was no better pleased with Francis 
Rous's metrical version of the Psalms for use 
in Avorshij) than with those hymns of his time 
Avhich were finally supplanted by his own. 
He regarded them as rude in construction 
and altogether Judaic in their coloring. He 
believed he could give them a metrical ren- 
dering which Avould conserve their original 
fervor and fire and at the same time adapt 
them to the sunnier worship and service of 
the New Testament age and render them 
more singable than they had yet been render- 



ed. He said : "I have expressed as I suppose 
David would have done, had he lived in the 
davs of Christianitv. I have entirelv 

f V t.' 

omitted some whole Psalms and large pieces 
of manv others, and have chosen out of them 
such parts only as might easily and naturally 
be accommodated to the various occasions of 
the Christian life, or at least might afford us 
some beautiful allusion to Christian affairs. 
These I have copied and explained in the gen- 
eral style of the gospel. I have chosen rather 
to imitate than to translate, and thus to com- 
pose a psalm-book for Christians after the 
manner of the Jewish Psalter/' 

The hymn was first published in 1719, and 
contained eight stanzas. The second stanza 
as novv" sung is made up of portions of 
stanzas two and tliree as originally written. 
Watts's eighth stanza, now generally un- 
known, read as follows : 

"Let every nation rise and bring 
Peculiar honors to our King; 
Angels descend with songs again, 
And earth repeat the loud Amen." 

The fulness and completeness of Christ's 
redemptive vv^ork is beautifully set forth in 
this hymn, particularly in the stanza, 

"Where He displays His healing power. 
Death and the curse are Iciiown no more : 



In Him the tribes of Adam boast 
More blessings than their father lost." 

This stanza, however, is one of those 
omitted by some compilers, possibly because 
it is thought to be too strong. Nevertheless 
it is one of the most beautiful, forceful, and, 
as we think, scriptural portions of the hymn, 
and so necessary to its completeness that its 
omission is an injustice alike to the work of 
Dr. Watts and to the Christian public. 

"Perhaps one of the most interesting oc- 
casions on which this hymn was used," says 
Mr. Stevenson, "'was that on which King 
(4eorge, the sable, of the South Sea Islands, 
but of blessed memory, gave a new Constitu- 
tion to his people, exchanging a heathen for 
a Christ itm form of government. Under the 
s])reading branches of the banyan-trees sat 
Sonne five thousand natis'es from Tonga, Fiji, 
jind l^^anioa. on AVhitsunday, 18G2, assembled 
for divine worship. Foremost among them 
all sat King George himself. Around Iiim 
were seated old chiefs and warriors who had 
shared with him the dangers and fortunes 
of many a battle, — men whose eyes were 
dim. and whose powerful frames were bowed 
down with the weight of years. But old and 
young alike rejoiced together in the joys of 
that day. their faces most of them radiant 



with Christian joy, love aud hope. It vroiild 
be impossible to describe? the deep feeling 
manifested when the solemn service began, 
by the entire audience singing — 

'Jesus shall reigu where'er the sun 
Doth His successive journeys run : 
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore. 
Till suns shall rise and set uo more.' 

TYho, so much as tliey, could undei'stand the 
full meaning of the poet's words? for they 
had been rescued from the darkness of hea- 
thenism and cannibalism ; and they were that 
dav met for the first time under a Christian 
Constitution, under a Christian king, and 
with Christ Himself reigning in the hearts of, 
most of those present I" 

The more recent establishment of Chris- 
tian government in Madagascar, and the 
marvelous triumphs of Christianity in the 
New Hebrides, Hawaii, Micronesia, Oceanica, 
and the Philippine Islands, as also its on- 
ward march in India, Africa. China and Ja- 
pan, are so many tokens that the day is 
drawing near for the complete realization 
of the prophetic vision expressed in this glo- 
rious hymn. Then shall 

"Angels descend with songs again 
And earth repeat the loud Amen." 




One of the finest metrical renderings of 
Hebrew psalmody into the English tongue 
with which the Church has ever been favored 
is James ^lontgomery's ode, beginning, 

"Hail to the Lord's anointed, 
Great David's greatec Son !" 

Tt is a free parai)hrase of those portions 
of the Seventy-second Psalm which foretell 
the jrlory of Messiah's final advent and uni- 
versal reign upon the earth. Its author ap- 
pears to have been accustomed to repeating, 
when lecturing on literature or poetry, choice 
selections for the purpose of illustration. 
On a certain occasion in 1822 he was present 
and spoke at a Weslevan missionarv asso- 
elation in Liverpool over which the venerable 
Dr. Adam Clarke was moderator. When the 
climax of the poet's address was reached he 
concluded with the recitation of his own 
fresh rendering of Psalm LXXII. into English 
meter. Dr. Clarke was so captivated by the 




poem that he at once requested the iiiaini- 
scri])t with permission to insert the i)ani- 
])hrase complete in the Coniimentary on the 
Bible he was then j)reparing*. His request 
was granted, and the original eight stanzas, 
unaltered, appear at the close of Dr. Clarke's 
comments on the Psalm referred to, occupy- 
ing the larger portion of a quarto page, and 
preceded by the following remarks: 

"The folloAving poetical version of some of 
the principal passages of the foregoing Psalm 
was made and kindlv sriven me bv mv mucli 
respected friend, James Montgomery, Esq., 
of Shefiield. I need not tell the intelligent 
reader that he has seized the spirit, and ex- 
hibited some of the principal beauties of the 
Hebrew bard ; though, to use his own words 
in his letter to me, his 'hand trembled to 
touch the harp of Zion.' I take the liberty 
here to rearister a wish, which I haye strondv 
expressed to myself, that he would fayor the 
Church of God with a metrical yersion of the 
whole book.'' 

Then follows the hymn, originally entitled, 
"The Reign of Christ,'' which we here repro- 
duce without abridgment : 

Hail to tlie Lord's anointed, 
Great David's greater Son ! 

Hail ! in the time appointed, 
His reign on earth begun I 



He comes to T)reak oppression, 

To let the captive free, 
'I'o talve away transgression, 

And reign in equity. 

He comes with succor speedy 

To tbose who suffer wrong; 
To belp the poor and needy, 

And bid tbe weak be strong: 
To give tbem songs for sigbing, 

Their darkness turn to light, 
Whose souls, in misery dying. 

Were precious in His sight. 

By such He shall be feared 

AVbile sun and moon endure. 
Beloved, adored, revered, 

For He shall judge tbe poor. 
Through changing generations, 

With justice, mercy, truth. 
While stars maintain their stations, 

And moons renew their youth. 

He shall come down like showers 

Upon tbe fruitful earth. 
And joy and hope, like flowers, 

Spring in His path to birth : 
Before Him. on the mountains. 

Shall Peace, the herald, go, 
And righteousness, in fountains, 

From hill to valley flow. 

Arabia's desert-ranger 
To Him shall bow the knee; 

The Ethiopian stranger 
His glory come to see: 



With offerings of devotion. 

Ships from the isles shall meet 
To pour the wealth of ocean 

In tribute at His feet. 

Kings shall fall down before Him, 

And gold and incense bring : 
All nations shall adore Him. 

His praise all people sing: 
For He shall have dominion 

O'er river, sea, and shore. 
Far as the eagle's pinion. 

Or dove's light wing can soar. 

For Him shall prayer unceasing. 

And daily vows ascend; 
His kingdom still increasing, — 

A kingdom without end ; 
The mountain-dews shall nourish * 

A seed in weakness sown. 
Whose fruit shall spread and flourish 

And shake like Lebanon. 

O'er every foe victorious. 

He on His throne shall rest. 
From age to age more glorious. — 

All-blessing and all-blest : 
The tide of time shall never 

His covenant remove : 
His name shall stand for ever. 

His name — what is it? Love. 

Tune— ''Webb." 

It is an interesting coincidence that both 
this hymn and Dr. Watts's 

"Jesus shall reign where'er the sun 
Doth His successive journeys run,'' 



are paraphrases of the same portion of He- 
brew psalmody. We have seen the suggestion 
somewhere in our reading that Montgomery's 
production is probably an unconscious imita- 
tion of Dr. Watts's hymn. Such a sugges- 
tion appears to us without warrant, and a 
gross injustice to Mr. I\Iontgomery. The in- 
spiration for the writing of both hymns was 
borrowed from the same source, and both 
are occupied with paraphrasing the same 
piece of Hebrev/ literature into English 
meter; but there is enough of distinct individ-' 
nality displayed in each to indicate the fullest 
originality in the later as well as in the 
earlier hymn produced. The coincidence in 
the production of these two hymns, so similar 
and yet so dissimilar, from the same original 
source is a striking illustration of the won- 
derful fountain of inspiration for their muses 
Christian poets have ever found in the Holy 

As now generally published in the church 
hymnals Montgomery's hymn appears with 
but four stanzas — the first, second, fourth 
and seventh of the original. In this abridged 
form it makes an admirable hvmn for devo- 
tional use, and is peculiarly adapted to 
awakening missionary enthusiasm, and also 
to expressing the Church's hope for her 
Lord's return. 


Our Country 




The people of the United ^?tates have and 
vet have not a national hymn. The Rev. Sam- 
uel Francis Smith's ''^Fy country, 'tis of thee'' 
has so long been regarded as such by common 
consent that few ever stop to consider that 
neither this nor any other production has 
ever been authoritatively designated as the 
national hymn. It holds the same place in 
the hearts of the American people, however, 
as does "God save the king" in the hearts of 
the English, or the ••Marsellaise'' in the 
hearts of the French jieople; and it has been 
so long halloAved by universal use that au- 
thoritative enactment to make it the national 
hymn would be su])ertluous. Following is 
the text : 

My country I 'tis of thee, 
Sweet land of liberty. 

Of thee I sintr : 
Land where my fathers died 1 
Land of the Pilirrinis' pride I 
From every mountain-side 

Let Freedom ring I 



My native country, thee — 
Land of the noble free — 

Thy name I love; 
I love thy rocks and rills, 
Thy woods and templed hills; 
My heart with rapture thrills 

Like those above. 

Let music swell the breeze, 
And ring from all the trees 

Sweet freedom's song: 
Let mortal tongues awake ; 
Let all that breathe partake; 
Let rocks their silence break — 

The sound prolong. 

Our fathers' God! to Thee, 
Author of liberty, 

To Thee we sing : 
Long may our land be bright 
AVith freedom's holy light : 
Defend us by Thy might. 

Great God, our King. 

TrxE — "America." 

The author of this inspiring and widely 
known hymn was a Baptist minister of New 
England. He was born in Boston in 1808, 
and was educated at Harvard and Andover. 
He filled various important pastorates and 
occupied other responsible positions in the de- 
nomination to which he belonged, during his 
long and highly useful ministry^ the later 
years of which were spent at Newton, Massa- 
chusetts. He also wrote several valuable 



books and numerous livmns and poems. His 
stirring missionary hymn, "The morning 
light is breaking," is one of his best known 
and most useful lyrical productions. He was 
one of the editors of "The Psalmist,'' a Bap- 
tist hymn-book published in Boston in 1843. 
"^ly country, 'tis of thee" and also seyeral 
other hymns of his own composing, were con- 
tributed to that yaluable collection. His na- 
tional hymn has come down to us without al- 
teration. Dr. Smith died Xoyember 16th, 
1805, full of years and ri|}e for the kingdom. 
The story of the hymn has been told briefly 

t e t. 

bv its author, who says it "was written in 
1832. I found the tune in a German music- 
book brought to this country by the late Wil- 
liam C. AVoodbridge, and put into my hands 
by Lowell Mason, because (so he said) I 
could read German books and he could not. 
It is, howeyer. not a translation, but the ex- 
pression of my thouixht at the moment of 
glancing at the tune." 

Tlie origin of the tune to which this hymn 
is generally sung in this country ["America"] 
is inyolyed in uncertainty. It is used in 
Great Britain as "God Saye the King." which 
is considered the national song. "The name 
^Am.erica' was added by Lowell Mason," says 
Dr. Robinson, "who arranged it for use in 



this country." Some consider it as an amend- 
ment made by Henry Cary, near the end of 
the seventeenth or the beginning of the 
eighteenth century, from Dr. John Bull, who 
died in 1G22. The tune was first published in 
England in honor of George II. But French 
critics claim that the original m,usic was com- 
posed by Lulli/and that it was sung by 300 
young ladies before Louis XIV. at St. Cyr, 
where Handel found it in 1721. They even 
go so far as to insist that the words ["God 
save the king''] wei^e composed by Madame 
de Brinon, the Mother Superior, beginning, 
^ Grand Dieu, sauvez le RoW 

The following anonymous verses, though 
not submitted for their poetic merit, pay high 
and deserved tribute to Dr. Smith's hymn : 


"Again each morning as we pass 
The city's streets along, 
We hear the voices of the class 
Ring out the nation's song. 

"The small boy's treble piping clear, 

The bigger boys' low growl, 
And from the boy who has no ear 
A wierd, discordant howl. 

"With swelling hearts we hear them sing 
'My country! 'tis of thee — ' 
From childish throats the accents ring, 
*Sweet land of liberty.' 



"Their little hearts aglow with pride, 
Each with exultant tongue 
Proclaims : 'From every mountain-side 
Let freedom's song be sung.' 

"Let him who'd criticise the time, 
Or scout the harmony. 
Betake him to some other clime — 
No patriot is he! 

"From scenes like these our grandeur springs, 
And we shall e'er be strong, 
While o'er the land the schoolliouse rings 
Each day with freedom's song." 

The hymn is usually suug on all national 
and patriotic occasions. Americans would 
feel sadly at a loss in an Independence Day 
or a Thanksgiving Day exei'cise without the 
inspiration of its stirring strains. It is also 
the hymn that voices the feelings of Ameri- 
cans on first sighting their own shores after 
a period of foreign travel. It has always had 
a warmer place in the writer's heart since the 
20th of June, 1895, when, returning from a 
three months' tour abroad, as the steamshij* 
St. Louis brought us within sight of the 
home-land the voices of all Americans on 
board joined, almost simultaneously, and 
with genuine fervor, in singing, 

"My country ! 'tis of thee, 
Sweet land of liberty. 
Of thee I sing." 




It is strange indeed, bnt no less strange 
than true, that the greatest Battle-Hymn ever 
written gnshed from the gentle and sympa- 
thetic heart of a woman. Agitated intensely 
and wrought up to the highest pitch of sym- 
pathy and patriotic emotion over the scenes 
she had witnessed in a visit to the Army of 
the Potomac, soon after the outbreak of the 
Civil War, Mrs. fJulia Ward Howe, whose 
name will ever be a synonym for all that goes 
10 make up the noblest type of womanhood, 
]>oured out the pent-up inspiration of her soul 
in the composition of the following inspiring 
and popular hymn : 

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the 

Lord ; 
He is trampling out tbe vintage where the grapes 

of wrath are stored. 
Tie hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible 
swift sword ; 

His truth is marching on. 

1 have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred 
circling camps : 



Tbe.v have bnilded ITiiii aii altar In the ovcninL? (lows 

and damps : 
I have read His righteous sentence by tlie dim and 

tlariug himps ; 

Ills day is marching on. 

1 have read a liery gospel writ in Imrning rows of 

sfceel — 
"As ye deal with My contemners, so with you ^Nly 

grace shall deal;" 
Let the ficro born of woman crush the serpent with 

His heel. 

Since God is marching on. 

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never 

call retreat : 
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His Judg- 
ment-seat ; 
Oh! be swift, my soul, to answer Him: be jubilant 
my feet, — 

Our God is marching on. 

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across 
the sea. 
\\'ith a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and 

me : 
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make 
men free. 

While God is marching on. 

Tune — "John Rrow.x's Konv."" 

Probably no other patriotic hymn is better 
known or oftener sung throughout the lengtli 
and breadth of onr country than this; and 
surely none is better adapted to inspiring 



optimistic enthusiasm for the country's weal, 
or serene confidence regarding the issue of 
every gTeat crisis through which the nation 
]?asses. Tn its production our modern Miri- 
am has exquisitely expressed, and also mar- 
velously intensified, the spirit of our nation, 
on the lips of whose sons and daughters the 
uords of her matchless song will live 

"Till the Hero born of woman crush the serpent 
with His heel." 

The Independent i)ublished at some length 
the storv of this remarkable hvmn a few vears 
ago, of which the following is a part, as 
quoted by Col. Nicholas Smith in ^'Hymns 
Historically Famous:" 

"It was in December, 1861. that Mrs. 
Howe, in company with her husband. Gov- 
ernor and Mrs. xVndrew, and other friends, 
visited Washington, itself almost in the con- 
dition of an armed camp. On the journey 
tliither, the watchfires of a hundred circling 
camps gleamed in the darkness, the railroad 
being patrolled by pickets. Mrs. Howe has 
told of the martial sights and sounds in the 
national capitol, and of her drive to a dis- 
tance of several miles from the city to see a 
review^ of our troops. An attack from the 
enemy interrupted the program, and the re- 



turn drive was made through files of soldiers 
who occupied almost the entire road. To be- 
guile the tedium of their slow progress, Mrs. 
Howe nnd her frieuds sang army songs, 
among others, 'John Brown's Bodj.' This 
seemed to please the soldiers, who surround- 
ed them like a river, and who themselves took 
I'P the strain, in the interval crying, 'Good 
for you.' Our poet had often wished to write 
words to be sung to this tune, and now, in- 
deed, liad she 

'Read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of 
steel.' " 

Her visit to the army of the Potomac gave 
Mrs. Howe such a conception of war as she 
could have obtained in no other wav — of the 
wild commotion, the wholesale and horrible 
slaughter, the widespread and terrible deso- 
lation, the awful strain upon the nation's 
life, and the almost universal gloom and hor- 
ror with which it fills the land. Her heart 
was stirred with emotions deep and strong, 
and made to beat in sympathetic response to 
her country's agony and peril. In the midst 
of all these depressing and deplorable condi- 
tions, however, the inspiration of the prophet 
and the vision of the seer were hers, and, dur- 
ing the night following her visit to the seat 



of war, she stole from her bed and gave vent 
to her pent-up spirit of prophetic song in 
the immortal lines of the foregoing hymn. 

Some time after its composition the poem 
was shown to Mr. James T. Fields, then edi- 
tor of The Atlantic Monthly, who to some 
extent recognized its merit, suggested as a 
fitting title for it, "Battle-Hymn of the Re- 
public," and xjublished it in his magazine in 
February, 18G2, with no signature attached. 
Mrs. Howe is said to have received the trifling 
sum of five dollars for this immortal pro- 
duction. But the imperishable honor it has 
brought her, and the invaluable service it 
has rendered to the country she so ardently 
loves, are rewards with which no amount of 
nionied renumeration is to be compared. 

"When James Russell Lowell was editor of 
The Atlantic, ^^ writes Colonel Smith, "he 
declined to publish a poem written by Julia 
"Ward Howe^ and gave as his reason therefor 
that no woman could write a poem, and said 
tiiat 'Mrs. Browning's efforts were a conspic- 
uous illustration of this fact.' But Mrs. 
Howe did write a poem which The Atlantic 
did accept, and, athough Mr. Lowell wrote 
many verses which will live long in our liter- 
ature, he has written nothing that will touch 
the popular heart as deeply as the glorious 

anthemi — 




*Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the 
Lord.' " 

As an illustration of the popularity and 
power of the air to this noble and stirring 
hymn the following, from the pen of John 
Habberton, who served in the Civil War and 
afterward did editorial work on several im- 
portant periodicals and wrote books on vari- 
ous topics, and who wrote it long after the 
struggle was all over, will be in place: 

''The old air has a wonderful influence over 
me. I heard it in Western camp-meetings 
and negro cabins when I was a boy. I saw 
the 22nd Massachusetts march down Broad- 
way singing the same air during a rush to the 
front in the early days of the war; I have 
heard it sung by warrior tongues in nearly 
every Southern State; my old brigade sang 
it softly, but with a swing that was terrible 
in its earnestness, as they lay behind their 
stacks of arms just before going into action; 
T have heard it played over the grave of nmny 

a dead comrade; the semi-mutinous th 

cav^alry became peaceful and patriotic again 
as their bandmaster played the old air, after 
having asked permission to try his hand on 
them ; it is the tune that burst forth spon- 
taneously in our barracks on that glorious 
morning when he learned that the war was 



over, and ir was sung with words adapted 
to the 0( casion by some good rebel friends of 
mine on onr first social meeting after the 

Jnlia Ward Howe still lives. Her years 
are many, she having recently passed her 
eighty-fonrth birthday. She is not old, how- 
ever^ since those who live under the spell of 
such inspiring and enchanting visions as 
heaven vouchsafed to her never grow old. ^'At 
the end of a beautiful life, she now looks to- 
ward the lyreat lights of eternitv that beckon 
the faithful workers and believers to an hon- 
orable rest, and to the hope of renewed work 
in the universe after rest." She is a great 
Avoman in all that makes for great and noble 
womanhood. She has expressed the great- 
ness of her heart and character in the produc- 
tion of a great hymn. Regarding that pro- 
duction the writer would say, in the language 
of another: ^'Read it; teach it to your chil- 
dren; and, above all, understand it. See 
Avhat she saw^ — Justice that will not be denied 
in the end. Progress that cannot be stopped, 
and Truth that must triumph." 






Of all hymns written under the shadow of 
that ineffable mvsterv called Death none is 
more deservedly popular than the tender, 
hopeful and beautiful swan-song of Henry 
Francis Lyte, beginning, 

"Abide with me I fast falls the eventide ; 
The darkness deeijens ; Lord, with me abide." 

The hvmn has quite commonly and yet as 
mistakenly been classified as an Evening 
Hymn. In the popular conception the deep- 
ening darkness mentioned in the second line 
means the gathering gloom of night ; whereas 
the author had no reference to evening shades 
whatever, but to the gathering shades of 
death's long sleep. The pathos of the hymn 
becomes much more impressive when this fact 
is understood, and also when we remember 
that the poet was already enveloped in the 
fringe of those darkening shadows when his 
poul poured forth this sweet and hallow^ed 
lyric. To appreciate the value of the hymn 



we should regard it as a voice wafted back to 
us from one just entering within the vail that 
separates between time and eternity, and who 
cheered his own passage through the deepen- 
ing shades with this song of marvelous 
beauty, love and trust. 

For a sketch of Mr. Lyte's earlier history 
the reader is referred to Chapter XXI. of 
this volume. 

After various shiftings of fortune in his 
case, he "entered [in 1823] upon the perpet- 
ual curacy of the Lower Brixham, Devon- 
shire, England, which he held until his death, 
twenty-five years later. It was a strange and 
uncongenial field for a man of Mr. Lyte's 
culture, refinement and literary tastes, the 
place being described as a fishing town, com- 
posed of ^'a poor, rough, sea-faring popula- 
tion." Here he labored in the spirit of his 
divine Master, however, with affectionate ten- 
derness and self -consuming zeal, and remark- 
able success crowned his efforts. Here also 
he wrote his sadly tender yet remarkably 
beautiful Christian lyrics found in nearly all 
modern hvmnals. 

Alwavs delicate in health, Mr. Lvte's la- 
bors on the rude English coast were too much 
for his strength, and year by year he steadily 
declined until he was compelled at last to 



seek recuperation in travel and in rest from 
public duties. He saw that the lamp of his 
life was surely burning out, and. although 
prepared to die, he longed to live until he 
should accomplish more of enduring value 
than seemed to have resulted from his labors. 
This yearning found expression in the follow- 
ing lines: 

*'Mislit verse of mine inspire 
One virtuous aim, one high resolve impart: 
Light in one drooping soul a hallowed fire, 
Or bind one broken heart, 

"Death would be sweeter then. 
More calm my slumber 'neath the silent sod ; 
Might I thus live to bless my fellow men, 
Or glorify my God." 

Mr. Lyte had returned home to spend the 
summer of 1847 with his people in Lower 
Brixham. His health so rapdly declined, 
however, that his only hope of life was in 
getting off as early as possible for the warm- 
er climate of Southern Europe. The fourth 
of September was to be his last Sabbath with 
the people of his parish. To the surprise of 
his friends, who saw that he was on the very 
brink of the grave, he announced his deter- 
mination to preach once more to the people he 
so ardently loved. He carried out his pur- 



pose, and, feeble as he was, delivered a most 
affecting farewell sermon, after which he ad- 
ministered the sacrament of the Lord's Sup- 
per. Much exhausted, but full of strong emo- 
tion, he went to his home, and, in accordance 
with his own poetic prayer — 

"And graut me, swan-like, my last breath to spend 
In song that may not die," — 

composed both words and music of his last 
and sweetest hymn, ^'Abide With Me," of 
which the following is the original form : 

Abide with me! Fast falls the eventide; 
The darkness thickens. Lord, with me abide. 
"When other helpers fail, and comforts flee, 
Help of the helpless, O abide with me! 

Swift to its close ebbs ont life's little day ; 
Earth's joys grow dim, its glories pass away ; 
Change and decay in all aronnd T see ; 
O Thou who changest not, abide with me. 

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word. 

But as Thou dwell'st with Thy disciples. Lord — 

Familiar, condescending, patient, free, — 

Come not to sojourn, but abide with me. 

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings. 
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings; 
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea ; 
Come, Friend of sinners, thns abide with me. 



Thou on my liend in early youth diclst smile ; 
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile, 
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee ; 
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me. 

I need Thy presence every passing hour : 
Wliat but Thy grace can foil" the tempter's power? 
Who like Thyself my guide and stay caa be? 
Through cloud and darkness, O abide with me. 

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless ; 
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness. 
Where is Death's sting? where, Grave, thy victory? 
I triumph still, if Q'hou abide with me. 

Hold then Thy cross before my closing eyes. 
Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies : 
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows 

In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me. 

Tune — "Eventide." 

The liTmn now usnallv appears with stan- 
zas 3, 4 and 5 omitted. It may be wise that 
this abridgment is made, tiie hvmn being 
quite complete without the omitted stanzas, 
and the length of the lines, the number of 
stanzas and the slowness of the movement 
rendering the full hvmn too long for use in 
piiblic worship. ^'The darkness thickens," in 
line 2 of stanza 1. was early changed to ''the 
darkness deepens," "no doubt by Mr. Lyte 
himself." Later, "Hold then Thy cross" >vas 
wisely changed to "Hold Thou Thy cross/' 



this form appearing in the author's later 

Mr. Lvte on leaving England intended to 
go to Rome. His rapid decline, however, com- 
pelled him to halt at Nice, in France, where, 
November 20, 1847, ^'the silver cord was 
loosed, the golden bowl broken." and the good 
man's spirit pasced to be '^forever with the 
Lord.'' In passing a smile transfigured his 
face^ and, in subdued but triumphant tones 
he uttered the words — ^%Joy I Peace I'' 

Two instances illustrative of the inspiring 
and consoling power of the hymn Avill be ad- 
duced in closing this sketch. 

The first of these was connected with the 
closing of Jennie O'Neill Potter's life, and is 
reproduced from Tol. Nicholas Smith's 
"Hymns Historically Famous." 

''When that gifted elocutionist and reader 
lay dying in St. Luke's Hospital. New York, 
in 1900, the closing of her young and bril- 
liant life by an incurable disease did not dis- 
turb her soul. The physicians told her that 
her remaining days were about ninety; and 
she began a patient waiting for the inevitable 
hour. The nurses wondered how the frail 
little woman could be so happy. She would 
sing to herself all day long, and as the even- 
ing fell over the big building upon the hill 



not far from General Grant's tomb, a delight- 
ful melody, with some pathetic Avords, would 
come from Miss Potter's room. Physicians 
and nurses could not restrain their tears of 
sympathy while they listened with breathless 
attention as she softly crooned the tender 

'Abide with me ! Fast falls the eventide ; 
The darkness deepens ; Lord, with me abide ! 
When other helpers fail, and comforts flee. 
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.' 

Tn the mortal struggle with disease when 
^other helpers failed,' when all around was 
dark, this hymn was Miss Potter's comfort 
to the very hour when she realized the full 
nieaning of the triumphant line, 

'Heaven's morninp: breaks, and earth's vain shadows 
flee.* •" 

The other instance is that of Louise Butler, 
who, in alighting from a railway train in 
Chicago, fell under the wheels of the moving 
train and was ^'horribly mangled." Report- 
ing the accident the Chicago Record-Herald, 
as quoted by the Commoner, stated that after 
the accident ^liss Butler was placed on the 
train from which she had fallen to be convey- 
ed to a hospital five miles away. Reviving in 
spite of her terrible injuries, she began sing- 
ing softly : 



"Abide with me. Fast falls the eventide; 
The darkness deepens, Lord, with me abide. 
When others helpers fail and comforts flee, 
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me." 

Slio saiij; the hymn through, the report con- 
timies, even as her hands clenched in her 
n.i;ony. and the last line was reached as the 
train stoj)iied and she was lifted from it. 

Again Avlien she was placed on the opera- 
iijig table the girl sang the prayer, only 
ceasing when her mother and father reached 
her, to l>eg them not to grieve. 

Turning from them to her pastor. Miss 
lUitler asked him to comfort her parents, 
and requested him to pray. As the prayer 
was finished she took u]) another hymn: 

"My iaith looks u]) to Thee, 
Thou Lamb of Calvary, 

Savior divin(\ 
Now hear me while I pray ; 
Take all my gnilt away ; 
Oh. let me from this day 

r.e wholly Tliino."' 

Tier voice faltering on the last line, she 
whispered: "Do not grieve. Tell them I am 
not afraid to die,'' and became unconscious. 
She died thirty minutes afterward. 




Sooner or later Death forces 'liis war into 
every home, and, with inexorable summons, 
calls for one after another of the family cir- 
cle to leave it and follow him to those deep 
shades from which none evermore return. 
I[oAv dark the i)all of gloom that settles 
npon those from Avliom loved ones are thus 
ruthlessly severed none can ever know until 
called themselves to follow the lifeless forms 
of those thev have tenderlv loved to their 
linal resting place. Christian hymnody is re- 
])lete with lyrics peculiarly adapted to min- 
istering consolation to those who are thus 
called to burv their dend out of their sioht, 
but none among them all is characterized by 
greater sweetness, beauty and consolatory 
power than Mrs. ^largaret ^[ackay's hymn 
entitled, ^'Sleeping in Jesus," of which the 
following is a reproduction : 

Asleep in .Tesns I blessed sleep. 
From wbich none ever wakes to weep I 
A calm and undisturbed repose, 
Unbroken br the last of foes. 



Asleep in Jesus ! Ob, how sweet 

To be for such a slumber meet! 

With holy confidence to sing, 

That Death hath lost its venomed sting. 

Asleep in Jesus ! peaceful rest, 
Whose waking is supremely blest! 
No fear, no woe, shall dim that hour 
That manifests the Savior's power. 

Asleep in Jesus ! Oh, for me 
^lay such a blissful refuge be! 
Securely shall my ashes lie, 
Waiting the summons from on high. 

Asleep in Jesus ! time nor space 
Debars this precious "hiding place ;" 
On Indian plains or Lapland snows 
l^elievers find the same repose. 

Asleep in Jesus ! far from Thee 
Thy kindred and their graves may be; 
But thine is still a blessed sleep, 
From which none ever wakes to weep. 

Tune— "Rest." 

^frs. ^lackay, autlioi* of the liyiiin, was born 
near Inverness, Scotland, in 1802. Her fa- 
thei- was ('aptain Robert IMackay, of the 
British army, and her husband Colonel Wil- 
lijini Mackay, of the Sixty-Eighth Light In- 
fantry, tc whom she was married in 1820. 
In addition to several prose works she wrote 
between seventy and eighty hymns, the best 



kiiowE among them being ^'Asleep in Jesus/' 
On January 5, 1887, after a long life of devo- 
tion to the blaster's service, she entered that 
"calm and undisturbed repose" of which slie 
wrote so beautifully in the foregoing hymn. 

The hymn first appeared in The Amethyst, 
or Christian Annual^ for the year 1832, and 
was introduced as follows: '^Sleeping in 
Jesus. By ^Irs. ^fackay, of ITedgefield. This 
simjde but expressive sentence is inscribed on 
a topibstone in a rural burying-ground in 
Devonshire, and gave rise to the following 

]Mrs. ^Mackay reprinted it in her ^'Thoughts 
Redeemed," 1854, and in connection there- 
^^•ith said : ^"The burying-ground meant is that 
of Pennycross Chapel. Distant only a few 
miles from a bustling and crowded seaport 
town, reached tlirough a succession of those 
lovelv areen lanes for which Devonshire is so 
renuirkable, the quiet aspect of Pennycross 
comes soothingly over the mind. 'Sleeping 
in Jesus' seems in keeping with all around." 

The hymn has won much favor among all 
English-speaking peoples, and will doubtless 
(.ontinue its ministrv of consolation to the 
bereaved and sorrowing until the coming of 
Ihat day when it will be said, "Death is 
swallowed up in victory." 




^^Xotliing that Tennyson has ever written,'^ 
declares Dr. Henry van Dyke, as quoted by 
Mr. Siitherhmd in The DcUneator, for Decern- 
ber^ 11)05, ''is more beautiful in body and soul 
than H'rossing' the Bar.' It is perfect poetry 
— simple e\en to tlie verge of austerity, yet 
rich with all the suggestions of wide ocean 
and waning light and vesper bells; easy to 
understand and full of music, yet opening 
inward to a truth which has no words, and 
pointing onward to a vision which transcends 
all forms; it is a delight and a consolation, a 
song for mortal ears, and a prelude to the 
larger music of immortality." 

The text of this beautiful lyric is as fol- 
lows : 

Smiset and eveninsr star, 

And one clear call for me! 
And may there be no moaning of the bar 

When I pnt to sea. 

But snch a tide as moving seems asleep. 
Too full for sound and foam, 



crOkSkSIxg the bar 

When that which drew from out the hound- 
less deep 
Turns again home. 

Twilight and evening hell, 

And after that the dark ! 
And may there he no sadness of farewell 

When I emhark ; 

For, though from out our borne of time and 

The flood may iSear me far, 
I hope to see my IMlot face to face 

When I have crossed the bar. 

Alfred, Lord Teniivson, wrote these lines 
in 1889, and they at once struck such a chord 
of popular sympathy as soon won for them 
a place in church hymnody. In producing 
them their author had no thought of writing 
a hymn, however, and possibly a strict ad- 
herence to his own ideal of what a good 
hymn should be would exclude them from 
the realm of church hymnody altogether. 

"A good hymn/' he tells us, '^is the most 
difficult thing in the world to write. In a 
good hymn you have to be commonplace and 
poetical. The moment you cease to be com- 
monplace, and put in any expression at all 
out of the common, it ceases to be a hymn.'' 

"Crossing the Bar" will always appeal suc- 
cessfully to popular favor because of the 



gemiine poetry which breathes in its utter- 
ances, but is there not too much ^'out of the 
common" in it, and also too much irregularity 
in its meter, to admit of its ever becoming 
l)0])ular as a hymn? However this may be, 
the poem has found its way into some prom- 
inent church hymnals on both sides of the At- 
lantic, and, as a lyric for devotional use on 
occasions important but somewhat rare, it is 
likely to hold its place and enlarge its sphere 
of inliuence. 

The story of its origin is related in Hallam 
Tennyson's "Memoir" of his father (Volume 
IT., pp. 3G6, 307) as follows: "'Crossing the 
Bar' was written in my father's eighty-first 
year, on a day in October when we came from 
Aldworth to Farringford. Before reaching 
Farringford he had the ^loaning of the Bar 
in his mind, and after dinner he showed me 
this j)oem written out. 

"T said, 'That is the crown of your life's 
work.' Tie answei^ed, 'It came in a moment.' 
He explained the 'TMlot' as 'that Divine Un- 
seen who is always guiding us.' " 

Mr. Hallam Tennyson also says, in the 
same connection, "A few days before my 
father's death he said to me: 'Mind you put 
"Crossing the Bar" jit the end of all editions 
of my i)oems.' " 



Space is lacking for even a brief sketch of 
the illustrious poet's life who wrote this ex- 
quisite swan-sonii\ the l)reathini»s of which 
were remarkably fulfilled in the closing of his 
mortal career. One of his physicians, Sir 
Andrew Clark, declared Lord Tennyson's the 
most glorious death he had ever witnessed. 
*'The tide of his life ebbed peacefully out into 
the ureat ocean of eternity, and so calmly did 
he respond to the beckoning hand of the death 
angel that those who stood about his bed 
s<'arcely knew when the end came. * "" * 
There could not ha ye been a gentler passing 
of a soul to its Creator.-' 

^'Crossing the Bar" was published the same 
year it was written, in "'Demeter and other 
Poems," and at once became popular. The 
lirst use of it as a. hymn was at Lord Tenny- 
son's funeral in Westminster Abbey, October 
12, 1892. The occasion itself was one of ex- 
traordinary im])ressiveness and of world-wide 
interest, and the scene at the interment of 
the body in Westminster Abbey has been pre- 
served in a gTa}>hic pen ])icture drawn by the 
daughter of the Dean as follows: "As the 
procession slowly passed u^) the nave and 
paused beneath the lantern, where the coffin 
was placed during the first inirt of the burial 
service, the sun lit up the dark scene, and 



loiiclied the red-and-blue union jack upon the 
coiiin witli brilliant lij;ht, filtered throngli 
the jtainted jsanes of Chaucer's window on 
the cleared purple sjjace by the oj)en grave, 
and lighting up the beautiful bust of Dryden, 
the massive head of Longfellow, the gray 
tomb of Chaucer, and the innuni.erable 
wreaths heajied upon it. In the intense and 
solemn silence which followed the reading of 
the lesson vvere heard the voices of the choir 
singing in subdued and tender tones Tenny- 
son's ^Crossing the I>ar' — those beautiful 
words in vrliich the poet, as it were, foretold 
his calm and ])eaceful deathbed. In the sec- 
ond line the clear, thrilling notes of a boy's 
voice sounded like a silver trumpet call 
anions: the arches, and it was onlv at inter- 
vals that one distinguished Dr. Bridge's beau- 
tiful organ accompaniment, vrhicli swelled 
gradually from a subdued murmur, as of the 
moaning tide, into a triumphant burst from 
the voices, so blended together were words 
and music." 

The Presbyterians were the first to give 
"Crossing the Bar" a place among the hymns 
of the Church. "A committee of the Free 
Church of Scotland engaged Sir Joseph Barn- 
by to set it to music, and printed it in their 
'Home and School Hymnal' of 1S9.3. In this 



countrv also the Presbvterians were the first 
to include it aiiionjii" their hymns, it ai)i)earing 
in 'The Ilyinnar of 1895. It has since ap- 
])earecl in "The Church Hymnarv' of the Scot- 
tish churches in several independent collec- 

y\i'. Edward Lushington made a transla- 
tion of "<'rossing the Bar" into Greek which 
Lord Tennyson regarded as the finest trans- 
lation he had ever read, and which Hallam 
Tennyson reproduces in a foot-note connected 
with his account of tlie poem as given ahove. 

"^>unset and Evening Star" was a favorite 
of Dr. George Yardlev Tavlor, the brii-iant 
young ])hysician who gave up his life so hero- 
ically at Paotingfu. China, in the niiassacre 
of June. 1900. During the days preceding 
the traced V, the little circle of men, women 
and children, who were so soon to seal their 
faith with their blood, frequently gathered 
about the organ in the compound and sang 
the songs of the home-land, now doubly dear 
and consoling to them because of tlieir help- 
lessness and need ; and with pathetic pre- 
science Tennyson's beautiful sunset hymn 
was always included. It would be difficult 
1o iuiagine a greater contrast than that 
which existed between the ])eaceful surround- 
ings of the gifted author when he "crossed 



the l>ar" in tlie earlv autumn morninj>' and 
tbe wild tnniult through which these brave 
young missionaries went to their martyrdom ; 
l)ut Ave doubt not that the same gentle Pilot. 
y\\\o stood in the quiet moonlit chamber, 
while "the casement slowly grew a glimmer- 
ing square," was also ''keeping watch above 
His own'' at the awful carnage, and that 
after the ^'twilight and evening bell" ITe ten- 
derly guided them all — poet and martyrs — 
to their desired haven, to be with Him forever 
in ''a house not made with hands, eternal in 
the heavens/' 






Xo production within the whole compass 
of church hvnmodv more vioorously and 
beautiful It sets forth the joyous prospect of 
iriimortality to which believers are begotten 
through the gospel than the following from 
the pen of Charles Wesley: 

And let this feeble body fail 

And let it faint or die : 
My sonl shall quit the mournful vale 

And soar to worlds on high : 
Shall join the disembodied saints, 

And find its long-sought rest. 
That only bliss for which it pants 

In the Redeemer's breast. 

In hope of that immortal crowm 

I now the cross sustain. 
And gladly wander up and down, 

And smile at toil and pain: 
1 sufl'er on my threescore years, 

Till my Deliverer come. 
And wipe away ITis servant's tears, 

And take Ilis exile home. 


^^ilat luith Jesus bought for me! 
Before my ravished eyes 

TJlvers of life divine I see 
And trees of Paradise: 

1 see a world of spirits l)riL'-ht, 
AVho taste the pleasures there : 

They all are robed in spotless white, 
And conquering palms they bear. 

O what are all my sufferings here. 

If, Lord, Thou count me meet 
With that enraptured host to appear, 

And worship at Thy feet I 
Give joy or grief, give ease or pain. 

Take life or friends away, 
But let me find them all again 

In that eternal day. 

Tune — "Roberts." 

This is one of Wesley's "Funeral Hvmns/' 
published in 1759. The original contained 
nine stanzas. The foregoing abridgment 
comprises stanzns one and two, the first half 
of stanzas five and six, and stanza nine of the 
original, 's^ith n fe^v slight but important 
alterations which first api)eared, according 
to Dr. Xntter, in the ''York Pocket Hymn- 
Book" in 178G. 

This noble lyric has been greatly blessed 
to thousands of God's dear saints in life and 
in the hour of death. It >vas a great favorite 
with the waiter's father, and often did the 
good man cheer his own heart and brighten 



his own lioi)e in seasons of trial by llie 
singing of its exalted and inspiring strains. 
All who were intimately accpiainted with the 
late Rev. B. T. Roberts will also remember it 
as a hymn that was often on his li])s, and 
tliat to the inspiration aiul con; fort of both 
liimself a!id those abont him. 

The singing of the sljinza bcoinnino-, 

"O wli.-it lijith Jesns boujrlit for mo I" 

by a i)ious yonng lady who was ill, about half 
a centnry ago, resulted in the conversion of 
her brotlier, sitting by her side as she sang. 
He was led to ask himself, ^*Has Jesns 
bought nothing for me?" Following this 
awakening he sought and found pardon, and, 
not long after, both the brother and sister, 
accompanied by anotlier brother, left their 
native country to labor as missionaries in 
the island of Ceylon. 

'^Tliousands of pious souls Iiave been cheer- 
ed bv the words of this hvmn," savs ^Ir. 
Stevenson, "while passing through the dirk 
valley. There is not a verse of it but has 
been made a blessing to some pilgrim..'' It 
is a hymn, too, that will live to be n>ade a 
blessing to thousands more as the successive 
generations of mankind appeal* and pass 




There is a land of pure delight, 

Where sahits immortal reign ; 
Infinite day excludes the niglit, 

And pleasures banish pain. 
There everlasting spring abides, 

And never-withering flowers ; 
Death, like a narrow sea, divides 

Tliis heavenly land from ours. 

Sweet fields beyond the swelling flood 

Stand dressed in living green ; 
So to the Jews old Canaan stood, 

Wliile Jordan rolled between. 
But timorous mortals start and shrink 

To cross this narrow sea. 
And linger, shivering on the brink, 

And fear to launch away. 

Oh, could we make our doubts remove, 

These gloomy doubts that rise. 
And see the Canaan that we love 

With unbeclouded eyes ; 
Could we but climb where Moses stood, 

Aiid view the landscape o'er, 
Not Jordan's stream, nor death's cold flood. 

Should fright us from that shore. 

Tune — "VarixNa." 



Dr. Isaac AYatts composed this beantifvil 
liyniD of faith and hope while vet a yoirnj:^ 
iiiau, and published it under the iK-cnIiar 
title, ''A Prosper^t of Heaven Makes Death 
Easy." It is a "familiar son<»- of the a<>es 
now, OTie of the 'folk-songs' of the American 
])eo]de at least." During upwards of thirty 
years of ministerial life, in which he has 
traveled quite extensively, the writer has 
found no ])lace where the hymn is not famil- 

Dr. A^'atts wrote this hyn>n "at his native 
home in Southampton, while sitting at the 
window of a parlor which overlooks the river 
Itchen, and in full view of the Isle of Wight. 
The landscape there is very beautiful, and 
forms an enchanting model for a poet when 
describing tlie Paradise above." 

The hymn is sweet, beautiful, and inspir- 
ing, breathing the atmos])here of hope and 
aspiration with regard to life beyond the 
tomb, and yet is exi)ressive of a hope that 
trembles and shrinks because of the unclear- 
ness of its vision. In this i-espect it is less 
exultant than the hymns of Dr. Stennett and 
Charles Wesley written on similar themes. 
Dr. Btennett wrote the hymn beginning, ''On 
Jordan's stormy banks I stand," in which he 
exultingly exclaims, — 



"Filled with delight, my rnptured soul 

Would here no longer stny : 
Though Jordan's waves around nie roll. 
Fearless I'd launch away ;" 

and Charles Wesley, in liis hymn on ''The 
Spirit and the Bride say, Come," sings in 
loftiest strains of holy triumph, — 

"The promised land from Pisgah's top 
I now exult to see ; 
My hope is full (O glorious hope!) 
Of immortality." 

This hymn has ever had peculiar attrac- 
tions for t!ie suffering and the dying, and also 
for the bereaved and sorrowing. Its charm 
for these classes is due chieflv to the sw^eet 
and full assurance with which its first stanza 
speaks of the celestial Canaan and the en- 
ciianting imagery in which it describes the 
virtues of that heavenly country. Pages 
could ])e filled witli instances in which the 
hymn has been a solace and an inspiration 
to weary pilgrims at the fording of Jordan, 
and to tliose wdio, at the brink of the river, 
have watched as their loved ones embarked, 
and then have turned away to linger yet a 
little in loneliness and sorrow^ before being 
j)ermitted to join them in their celestial 
home, but our space is too limited for the in- 



trodiiction of tliese interesting narratives 
here. ^lav the vision which is the burden of 
this charming lyric and the hope which it in- 
spires afford both the writer and his readers 
support and cheer in the hour of their fare- 
w^ell to earthly scenes and relationships. 




"Forever with the Lord !" 

Amen, so let it be ! 
Life from the dead is in that word, 
'Tis immortality. 

Here in the body pent, 
Absent from Him I roam, 

Yet ni.ichtly pitch my moving tent 
A day's march nearer home. 

"Forever with the Lord !" 

Father, if 'tis Thy will, 
The promise of that faithful word, 

E'en here to me fulfil. 

So when my latest breath 
Shall rend the vail in twain, 

Ky death I shall escape from death, 
And life eternal gain. 

Knowing as I am known. 

How shall I love that word. 
And oft repeat before the throne, 

"Forever with the Lord I" 



"Forever with the Lord !" 

AuKni, so let it be. 
Life from the dend is in that word, 

Tis immortality. 

Tune — "Nearer Home." 

This is auotber of James ^roDt<>oiii- 
ery's invaluable tontrilmtions to Christian 
hynmody. He first published it in 1827, in 
two i)arls, the first containing' nine stanzas 
and the second thirteen. The hvnni as here 
given comprises stanzas one, two, fourteen, 
sixteen, seventeen and twentv-two, of the 
original, unaltered. Referring to the favor 
the i)roduction received in his time from the 
Cliristian public the authou once said, ''I re- 
ceived directly and indirectly more testimo- 
nials of approbation in reference to these 
verses, than jterliaps any others I have writ- 
ten of the sauie class, with the exception of 
those on prayer." 

^Ir. Stevenson in commenting on the hymn 
aptly says, "This is one of those strains of 
sacred thought, which, having once taken 
hold of the public mind, will live in the serv- 
ice of song to the end of time. " * * Tlie 
hvmn remained unsuns; and unnoticed for a 
quarter of a century, when it was introduced 
to the public with a tune which was so well 
fitted io exhibit the force and beauty of tlie 



words that the time lias recominended the 
hymn. * * * Tn Yorkshire, in which coun- 
try it was written, tlie hymn is a great favor- 
ite, and it lias frequently been used by dying 
Christians who luid before them the bright 
reality of being — 

'Forevor with the Lord.' 

^'At one of the conferences of the ^Methodist 
Free Church held in Leeds, soon after the 
hymn was first introduced to Methodist read- 
ers, it was sung, and such a depth of spirit- 
ual ])ower fell upon the assembly, that the 
Rev. James Everett, then an octogenarian, 
(werwhelmed with emotion, fell prostrate in 
devout adoration as tlie singing progressed. 
This was witnessed by the conference, and 
the members knew the intense affection 
which existed between ^lontgomery and Ev- 
<M'ett." Tt is no wonder that all were power- 
ful Iv moved at beholding this spectacle.